Captain Tractors to produce vehiclesfor special applications

The $1.3-billion Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE), a member of the Amalgamations Group, is all set to break into sub-20 hp (horse power) segment.

The entry of TAFE into this segment will be facilitated through a strategic alliance with Captain Tractors Private Limited, Rajkot (CTPL). Captain Tractors has, at present, an installed capacity of 12,000 tractors annually.

CTPL will design, develop and manufacture application-focussed compact tractors in the sub-20 hp segment for TAFE. This is an exclusive arrangement for TAFE with CTPL. Ipso facto, TAFE will be the sole distributor of sub-20 hp tractors produced by Captain.

“Tractor for special purpose application is a new, niche and emerging market for us,” asserts Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman of TAFE. “It is more of a design issue in this segment for this type of special application,'' she points out. TAFE will support the manufacturing efforts of Captain Tractors in the design area.

The Mahindras, it may be recalled, sometime ago ventured into general purpose sub-20 hp tractors through a similar ‘alliance arrangement' with a local partner, Yuvraj. TAFE, too, has taken the same route to signal its entry into sub-20 hp. The difference, however, is that TAFE has got into this alliance mainly to get into special purpose application tractors in the sub-20 hp space. Ms. Mallika Srinivasan is convinced that there is a felt-demand for such tractors in this category.

TAFE is the country's largest tractor maker with a wide range of models and variants in the 25-100 hp segment.

A significant percentage of its production is being exported to 67 countries. CTPL is an ISO 9001-certified company. It has been manufacturing tractors since 1998 with a range of special attachments, promoting diverse use of the tractor for a variety of crop applications, both in farms and off-farm. The final contours of the arrangement are expected to be rolled out in the first quarter of the next financial year.

TAFE is hopeful of extending the reach of 20 hp tractors through its pan-India network. CTPL dealers, who will continue to sell and service these tractors, will be integrated into the distribution network of TAFE.

“Through this alliance, TAFE aims to offer a complete range of products to the farming community to meet their diverse needs, both well articulated and emerging,” said Ms. Mallika Srinivasan.

For TAFE, it has been an excellent growth story so far. “Our growth has been more than that of the industry,” asserts the chairperson. While the industry has grown by 19 per cent till October last, TAFE, according to her, has posted a 27 per cent growth. Even while the industry had reported de-growth in February, TAFE has grown by 24 per cent.

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