AGCO net sales for the first six months of 2016 of approximately US$3.6 billion are a decrease of around 5.8% compared to the same period in 2015, and the concern expects total 2016 net sales to reach US$7.2 billion. AGCO top man Martin Richenhagen said industry demand remains weak across all the major markets. “Industry retail sales in North America declined in the first half of 2016, with a significant drop in the large producer segment,” he said. “Sales of high-horsepower tractors, combines, sprayers and grain storage and handling equipment all declined significantly. Higher industry sales of small tractors have provided a partial offset to the decline in large agricultural equipment.” “In Western Europe, first half industry sales declined more modestly. Margins for dairy producers remained weak and lower commodity prices kept market demand soft in the row crop segment. Industry sales declines were most pronounced in the UK and Germany. The declines were partially offset by growth in France stimulated by tax incentives for equipment purchases, which have been extended through the end of 2016.” Looking past the current operating environment, Mr Richenhagen’s long-term view remains optimistic. “We are managing for the long-term during this weak demand period by increasing the level of investment in product development,” he said. “We have a full slate of new product introductions planned for the second half of 2016, ranging from the most powerful, technology-rich tractor on a conventional frame to highly efficient low and medium horsepower tractors. These new products are aimed at improving our competitive position in the global marketplace and increasing our margins in the years ahead.”