In a significant move, Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE), the flagship company of the Amagamation Group, has joined hands with ISEKI & Co., Ltd. of Japan to make compact tractors that complement the Indian manufacturer’s range of tractors in terms of horsepower and end-use.
ISEKI is the largest Japanese farm machinery manufacturer for tractors. It also makes tractors for AGCO, a well-known global name in the area of design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions. TAFE has over five decades of association with AGCO, and is also a significant shareholder in AGCO Corporation.
Given the ISEKI-AGCO relationship, the tie-up between TAFE and the Japanese firm, sources said, could provide a new twist to the emerging market dynamics in the tractor industry. The alliance will give TAFE an edge in the mid-size compact tractor space, and open up opportunities in newer application areas. The ‘superior’ technology of ISEKI, sources said, would give TAFE an additional advantage in the marketplace.
Under the pact, ISEKI will provide TAFE the product technology to produce these tractors. The scope of the pact will also cover sourcing of components/assemblies through TAFE, building on the volume advantage that TAFE offers.
TAFE will offer the premium light utility compact tractors in the 35-54 hp range of ISEKI in India. These multi-utility light-weight tractors with advanced features can be used for puddling operations, orchard and plantations land preparation, tilling, inter-cultivation and spraying applications. These tractors are expected to roll out by 2020. Mallika Srinivasan, chairman and CEO of TAFE, said that the tractor range that TAFE planned to make with ISEKI technology would complement its existing products in the segment.
In terms of range, feature, application and ergonomics, these would be ‘completely different from the existing products’ that TAFE was making in the mid-size compact tractor category. “There is absolutely no conflict,” she said. To a question, she said that the manufacture of these tractors would be integrated into “our normal production line” at Madurai.
The line had built-in flexibility to handle this new range, she added. TAFE already makes small tractors in the below-30 hp range. Its 6028 model in this category is doing very well, she said. TAFE has an annual sale of over 150,000 tractors, with a turnover exceeding ₹93 billion.
TAFE makes a range of tractors in the sub-100 hp segment in both the air-cooled and water-cooled platforms, and markets them under its four iconic brands - Massey Ferguson, TAFE, Eicher and the recently-acquired Serbian tractor and agricultural equipment brand IMT.