Familiar European tractor makers are looking to other global markets to boost their presence, but interestingly Chinese firms are eyeing up EU tractor sales. Although several have touted their wares at some of the big shows, Arbos is one that seems to keep plugging away to gain a foothold. We enjoy a tour of the Arbos Group’s Italian tractor plant, where the 5000 Series (110 to 136hp) models are assembled
First seen at the 2015 Agritechnica, it is astonishing how far the ‘new’ tractor maker has come since the Chinese Foton Lovol Group bought the rights to the Italian Arbos brand name in mid-2014. The project actually began in 2011, when the first Arbos Group staff quietly moved into a research and development building in Bologna, Italy.
During the next seven years the Chinese company invested a small fortune in the project, including €53 million to develop a complete range of tractors and implements. Another €78 million was earmarked to acquire the MaterMacc facility at San Vito al Tagliamento in January 2015, followed by the Goldoni tractor plant at Carpi, near Modena, in December 2015. With 285,000m² of production space at the two sites, more funding was allocated to revamping the interiors of both facilities.
Taking control of the Goldoni plant was a crucial move because it gave Arbos a European base to assemble its tractors. It moved in during autumn 2016, soon after the engineering centre in Bologna was closed and the team relocated to a new building at Carpi. Today, Goldoni and Arbos-branded orchard and equal wheeled tractors, are assembled at Carpi, as is the 5000 Series (110 to 136hp), the first Arbos range to go into production.