23 February 1996

MF tops tractor sales – just

By Peter Hill

MASSEY Ferguson finally knocked the Ford brand off the top of the UK tractor sales league table 14 months ago, ending a run of many years.

According to figures published by the Agricultural Engineers Association, 38 more Massey Fergusons than Fords were sold and registered in 1994 giving the Coventry-based firm a tenuous 0.2% lead in market share.

That was MFs best performance for a long time – in 1988 sales slipped behind Case as market share slumped to 16.6%. But the overall trend has been upwards ever since. Over the past three years MF has achieved the most consistent market share of any manufacturer.

The 1994 table also shows John Deere regaining the ground it lost the previous year, when sales of the 50-series models dipped in anticipation of the new 6000- and 7000-series. That allowed Case to move into third place in the league table once more, only to slip back to fourth again in 1994.

Outside the top four UK brands, Fiatagri headed the field with a 4.4% market share in 1994, its best-ever figure, reflecting the wider exposure the brand enjoyed as a result of being introduced to New Hollands Ford dealer outlets. Its contribution puts New Holland in a commanding position overall, with 26% of tractor sales.

Thereafter the league table tells an incomplete picture, as only Renault, Zetor and Kubota (whose tractors are sold mostly outside agriculture) feature before the arbitrary cut-off point. That leaves marques such as Deutz-Fahr, Valmet and Belarus unclassified among the "others", along with JCB Landpower, whose Fastrac sales figures are considered too sensitive for the company to release because they cover a limited market sector.

There are no figures for Same-Lamborghini because the company does not subscribe to the statistics system.

lThe 1994 figures have only just been published because of an EC ruling that tractor companies may not share sales information of this kind until after they have lost their value. Two companies are still disputing the test-case ruling, which applies only in the UK. Elsewhere in Europe such figures are regularly examined and published.

lTractor sales for January 1996 totalled 1406 units, a 7.4% rise on the first month of last year. The AEA says these figures reflect the continuing buoyant mood in most sectors of the industry. &#42


UK tractor registrations

199219931994

UnitsShare %UnitsShare%UnitsShare %

Ford3,34523.44,30222.54,18521.6

MF3,05521.44,14321.74,22321.8

Case2,39316.73,46118.12,95415.3

Deere2,31416.22,87415.03,19516.5

Fiatagri5163.67213.88524.4

Renault4993.56343.37083.7

Kubota – -7363.97333.8

Zetor7685.47213.86603.4

Others1,4069.81,5097.91,8399.5

Total14,29619,10119,349

Massey Fergusons livestock-orientated 300-series tractors have been big contributors to the firms recent consistent market share performance.