The Italian company made over 22,000 tractors in 2017 and recorded sales of €500 million. “This is not bad for a small family business and it was all generated from tractors,” said Alberto Morra, who is on the management team of Argo Tractors.
At a packed international press conference at the recent EIMA show, Mr Morra and his colleagues spoke of some of the measures being put in place to achieve ambitious plans to increase turnover to €1 billion in the next five years.
“There was more uncertainty in the market this year, and Brexit is still unresolved, but we have a plan to develop our business,” said corporate business director Simeone Morra. “We are a tractor specialist and will continue to be one in the future and we want to give our dealers a strong range of products.”
One spearpoint is to further increase the company’s international presence, and focus on potential growth markets, such as Russia and China. In India, the company recently signed a strategic partnership with International Tractors Ltd (ITL), the Indian manufacturer of the Solis and Sonalika brands. Another important market for Argo Tractors is South Africa, and it wants to use the branch in Johannesburg as a stepping stone to develop other African markets.
Argo Tractors currently invests 5.5% of turnover in R+D each year, and another priority is to compete over a wider range of products and develop new tractors at both ends of the power scale.
Future important steps include the X7, an important range for McCormick, and one we are told to expect further development. There is talk of the next generation CVT for the range, and there was more than a faint hint of another new in-house-developed transmission in the same power 190-240hp segment.
The Italian tractor manufacturer plans to come with lots of new products in the next 3-5 years, and makes no secret of needing more powerful tractors, which we reckon will probably come in the form of a more powerful X8. Furthermore, we are told to expect increased levels of styling differentiation between the McCormick and Landini brands in the future.
The company remains tight-lipped as to when we can expect to see any of the above, but 2019 is a SIMA and Agritechnica year so there’s a good chance we may see something at one of these two international events. Also, we are told to expect some big news on the livestock and speciality front from Landini sometime soon, and a CVT for an orchard tractor is in development.
Argo Tractors is not only investing in new products, but also in its dealer network. In 2017, the company opened new Spanish distribution branch and training centre to support dealers and end users of Landini and McCormick products.
The new French premises – and future projects in other markets – will be modelled on the new Spanish headquarters.
A similar project has just started near Lyon in France. “We are investing in our dealers,” said business development manager Franco Artoni, “with the aim to improve the Landini and McCormick image.” There is no timeline, but at the Italian show the company spoke of plans to replicate the new Spanish and French facilities in other markets, which could at some point include a new site in the UK.
In France, the goal for the next five years is to enlarge the dealer network by 20% to achieve 70% representation across the country.
“We aim to achieve a market share of 5%, establish a presence in the orchard and vineyard tractors segment, increase sales of medium and high HP tractors, and reach a turnover of more than €70 million,” said general manager Jean Luc Fernandez of Argo France.