Machinery giant Agco says 7,250 visitors came to its Discover Agco show at the NEC last week. At least 20% were thought to be non-Agco customers and most areas of the UK were represented.
“We wanted to come to one of the biggest exhibition halls in the country to showcase our range of products,” said David Sleath, director of sales for UK and Ireland. “We won’t be at Cereals this year, but we will be at Grassland demonstrating the Fella range of products as well as the Fendt Katana forager.”
The US company owns Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger, Valtra, Fella and grain-handling company GSI. More than $0.6bn of its $10.8bn sales comes from the UK.
Fendt had its best ever year in the UK last year, added sales manager Martin Hamer. “It shows that increasing numbers of farmers aspire to Fendt as a professional brand with the potential for big fuel savings.”
Last year Fendt produced some 18,000 tractors from its Marktoberdorf factory, and reckons it will beat this in 2014, according to Agco vice-president Peter-Joseph Paffen.
Fendt is also moving into the over-400hp tractor market with its X1000 in July this year and expects top-end UK farmers to be one of the key groups of potential customers.
“British agriculture and farm size is in many cases more advanced than in Germany or France, and so we are confident that as farming gets even more efficient the solutions Fendt delivers will continue to increase our market share.”
MF is also looking forward to the final phase of the long-running emissions regulations. “With engine technology making tractors in some cases 30% more expensive, we have to concentrate on making savings in manufacturing and adding more features for the customer,” says Richard Markwell, MF managing director “It’s our problem, so they shouldn’t have to pay.”
While 2013 was a record year for Agco and MF, the forecast for 2014 is for flat sales. The year will see the launch of a replacement for the MF 5600-series to meet the Tier 4 final emissions regs and follows in the footsteps of the range-topping MF 8700 launched at Agritechnica.
It will also see the launch of a new global range of simpler, mechanical tractors from 60-150hp, to be assembled in a number of different factories around the world.