Both Same-Deutz-Fahr and Argo Tractors (McCormick and Landini) used last week’s Agritechnica to stress they will remain tractor makers, leaving dealers free to choose which implement brands they want to sell. Their message is in stark contrast to the big names of AGCO, CNH and John Deere, who are all quickly moving down the full liner route, which some industry insiders suggest is being driven by Kubota.
Agritechnica visitors would have seen some of the results of the recent flurry of acquisitions and strategic partnerships by some of the big names as they continue to add more machines to the portfolio. Examples include Kramer handlers on John Deere’s stand, while New Holland showed the first blue and yellow Kongskilde machines.
To my mind, the AGCO hall was the most interesting, and in particular the huge size of the Fendt stand, with Valtra relegated to one small side of the hall and MF at the rear. Agritechnica was of course a home event for Fendt, and an ideal platform to show nature green versions of the Challenger tracked tractors and sprayers, and Fendt-branded Lely grassland equipment, but to a neutral visitor it was not difficult to see that Fendt is now more of a full liner than MF.
One burning question concerns the next addition to the growing Fendt empire, which now that Claas has joined forces with Liebherr, could come in the form of telehandlers and wheeled loaders.
When questioned by a French journalist (Power Boost tv) at Agritechnica about the possibility of adding telehandlers to the Fendt brand, AGCO CEO Martin Richenhagen said he would welcome a chat with Manitou, or a similar company. If there is one thing we have learnt from the AGCO boss over the years is that what he probably meant is that he wants to buy an A-brand telehandler manufacturer but not Manitou. Perhaps the future could lean more towards Bobcat, which currently makes a range of telehandlers for Massey Ferguson?
One thing we struggle with this next strategic partnership or acquisition, is that so far AGCO has been purely an agricultural player, while all telehandler/wheeled loader manufacturers are also active in construction. John Deere is active in both industries. Soo too is CNH. Perhaps Mr Richenhagen is ultimately looking to take AGCO down the same route?