Tractor production has started at Deutz-Fahr’s new state-of-the-art facility at Lauingen, Germany. The result of three years of planning and construction time, the overall bill of €90 million (includes a new visitor centre) is the single largest individual investment in the company’s history. Designed from a clean sheet of paper, a greenfield site of 15ha adjacent to the existing premises was purchased for the project. With a covered area of 42,000m², all the company has taken across the road from the existing facility, which continues to make tractor cabs and functions as a global parts centre, are the staff. Called Deutz-Fahr Land, the €20 million paint shop is the largest individual investment within the impressive facility. Flagged up as the world’s most modern and efficient tractor production plant, the single assembly line makes 6, 7 and 9 Series tractors from 130hp for the worldwide market. A new tractor leaves the line every 12 minutes, and the facility can produce 5,000 to 6,000 units a year from a single shift. There is clearly scope to boost the numbers, but SDF Group CEO Lodovico Bussolati reckons the new production plant is more about enlarging tractor dimensions and taking specification to the highest levels than increasing capacity.
Speaking at a European press conference, he stressed that total tractor HP has not really changed, but the number of units has declined. “The future trend is towards increased tractor technology and power and lower volumes,” he said. Mr Bussolati reckons the new facility plays a crucial role in reinforcing the Deutz-Fahr brand in the global market. “The new manufacturing plant together with our modern and innovative tractor range will speed up the growth of the brand. We are prepared for the future.”
Looking ahead, it is suggested that the new production plant is capable of handling tractors right up to 600hp! The 336hp 9340 TTV is currently the most powerful model to leave the assembly line. There is a faint hint of a more powerful 9 Series model, and production of the first 11 Series tractors (350-440hp) is planned for next year.