22 December 2000

Landini CNH deal sees McCormick brand revived

By Peter Hill

ITALIAN tractor maker Landini will resurrect the historic McCormick brand for tractors it plans to make at the Case assembly plant in Doncaster, South Yorks, after an agreement to buy the factory from CNH Global.

The deal, still to be sanctioned by the European Commission, gives Landini exclusive rights to make and sell the Doncaster-produced C, "CX" and "MX-C" tractors within the European Economic Area. Landini has chosen to use the McCormick name, which disappeared from farm machinery many years ago, for this venture.

Output at the plant is guaranteed through two contract supply agreements. Landini will make the "CX" and "MX-C" tractors for CNH to continue selling as Case-IH models outside the EEA; and assembly of the Case-IH "MX" Maxxum range will stay at Doncaster, despite earlier indications that production would likely be moved.

This major deal for Landini comes on top of earlier agreements between CNH Global and Landini parent Argo SpA to buy the Laverda combine harvester business in Italy, and the Case-IH big square baler line.

Argo, which is a privately-owned group, also owns the Pegoraro & Fort cultivation and grass equipment company, and orchard/vineyard tractor maker Valpadana. Its Landini tractor line has made steady European market share gains in recent years, with tractor output in 1999 estimated at about 17,000 units, twice that produced in 1994.

Now Landini looks set to face the challenge of running a second big assembly plant and establishing a "new" brand in the highly competitive farm tractor market. &#42

Months of speculation and rumour has beeen ended by Landinis decision to buy the Case assembly plant in Doncaster, subject to the deal being sanctioned by the European Commission.