19 April 1996

Same Deutz-Fahr now Europes No 2…

"WE are still the smallest of the biggest," says Vittorio Carozza, president of the newly christened Same Deutz-Fahr Group.

A strange statement in many respects, considering the combined tractor output from the company is now second only to that of New Holland in Europe, and it is the fifth largest tractor manufacturer in the world.

Even so, such elevation in the tractor sales league has not been achieved without some heavy investment – the purchase of Deutz-Fahr agricultural business.

Since the deal was completed in Jun 1995 net turnover of Same increased by 38% and the total number of tractors sold increased by 20% to 18,406.

Pleasing as this clearly is, all is not well at the Deutz Cologne plant. Production costs are considered to be prohibitively high – particularly on the energy consumption front – and there are plans afoot to make some stringent changes to resolve these problems.

Mr Carozza also reports that sales of Deutz-Fahr tractors have not developed satisfactorily with sales "negatively influenced" by the introduction of a major new model, the Agrotron range.

With such volume production now available, Same has turned its sales emphasis away from the home market – a 30% Italian market share is considered to be acceptable. A factory set up in 1992 in Poland to produce smaller powered tractors is now geared up to build 5000 a year. The majority of these tractors are exported but this year a dealer network is being formed in Poland to launch them on the Polish market.

Farther afield in India, a country with a potential for 190,000 tractors a year, Same has created a joint venture to produce tractors with engine and gearbox manufacturer, Greaves.

For the future, with European tractors sales expected to continue to decline, Mr Carozza believes the tractor market will become increasingly competitive with fewer manufacturers and greater co-operation between those who survive.

Even with names like Lamborghini, Hurlimann, Deutz-Fahr and Same now absorbed into the Same Deutz-Fahr Group, the intention is to continue to expand. Which tractor manufacturer will be next?