Fendt’s Agritechnica stand was the largest in its history, and the company has never had so many products, says vice president and brand director Peter-Josef Paffen of Fendt EAME. Speaking at a press conference in Hall 20 at the Hanover Fairgrounds last week, Mr Paffen was in cautiously-confident mood. However, and like other tractor manufacturers, Fendt is having to fight hard in a very difficult and competitive market, and tractor production at Marktoberdorf is expected to fall to around 13,500 by the end of this year. The lowest level for the past five years, the number is well down on the peak of 17,837 units in 2013 and also down on 2014’s total of 14,781. Mr Paffen says low producer prices, especially for dairy and meat products, are behind farmer willingness to invest. This could result in the tractor markets falling by around 10% in Western and Central Europe this year, with new tractor sales dropping to below 152,000 units (excludes Turkey). Mr Paffen remains positive and expects the industry to recover during the second half of 2016. When it does, Fendt will be ready to take advantage. Over 400 engineers work in R+D in Marktoberdorf on tractors and forage harvesters, and by the time this year draws to a close parent company Agco will have invested around €60 million in new Fendt products (similar to 2014 levels). The Fendt president is confident these high levels of investment are already paying dividends, and expects the company to increase its share of the declining Western and Central European markets from 8.4% in 2014 to 8.6% this year. “The investments of the past few years have allowed us to complete the product line, which makes us more attractive to dealers.” Another piece of good news concerns the important home market where Fendt has fought a long-running battle with John Deere for the number one spot. Looking back at 2014, in a slightly declining German tractor market, Fendt was able to maintain its lead in the country’s tractor stakes with 5,904 new registrations and a market share above 20%. The German tractor market is forecast to decline by as much as 11.8% this year, but Mr Paffen reckons Fendt will hang on to the number one position. “Fendt was in first place in German registration figures for the first nine months of 2015 with a market share of 25.2% and a clear margin to the second-placed brand.”