The Coronavirus pandemic has affected many things, even the way tractor and farm machinery press events, that would normally be held in a field somewhere in Europe, have moved to an online format with journalists following the proceedings from a computer screen.
The recent launch of Valtra’s new G Series tractors was just such an event. Staged within a virtual studio at the Finnish facility at Suolahti, the online press conference provided Valtra vice president and managing director Jari Rautjärvi with an opportunity to answer the only two challenging business questions selected by the event’s presenter.
The first was the market expectations amidst the Covid pandemic. “Forecasting the future is tricky,” said Mr Rautjärvi. “We are recovering from Covid quite rapidly in all Euro markets. However, this does not mean the pandemic crisis is over and we have to be really sure that we guarantee the best security and safety for our own people at the factories and distribution network, and also guarantee our customers safety. I am optimistic but at the same time also realistic.”
The driver behind Valtra’s fifth generation tractor is to raise the bar higher and further develop its digital services. Mr Rautjärvi said farmers everywhere are under pressure to increase productivity and give more information to customers and even to legislators. “For a modern tractor manufacturer it is simply not enough to talk only about engines, transmissions or technical specifications.”
“Today we have to have the skills to help customers with their opportunities and smart farming. I am confident and convinced that we have the best know-how to succeed and meet customer expectations in this fast-changing environment.”
The second question was what will be the next fifth generation product after the G? Mr Rautjärvi commented that this is the sort of difficult and almost impossible to answer question he would usually be asked at a normal press conference.
“Valtra will celebrate its 70th anniversary next spring. I can promise you that at that time we will introduce some very exciting new Valtra products and services.”
It remains to be seen whether these will be revealed at a physical press event or whether we will still be stuck behind a computer screen.