While several years of speculation about when Claas tractors will finally enter the U.S. and Canada ag market remains just that, another tractor maker from India says it plans to be here in 2015.
International Tractors Ltd. (ITL), part of the Sonalika Group based in India, told Farm Equipment in an April 23 email that it plans to introduce itself to the U.S. market next year. The company says that it currently has 11% domestic market share, and in the past decade has established its presence in 23 new markets throughout Europe, Australia and South America.
“Now the company is ready to venture in the U.S.A. market in 2015. The group is planning to access the market through two renowned exhibitions, i.e. World AG Expo 2015 at Tulare, Calif., and National Farm Machinery Show 2015 at Louisville, Ky.
“Today, it is one of the fastest growing Indian companies with a current capacity to produce 500 tractors per day, which are manufactured in its most modern single integrated plant situated in Hoshiarpur, Punjab,” the company says.
Reportedly, the company has a tractor range of 20–120 horsepower branded as Sonalika and Solis. ITL says that it is currently collaborating with Renault of France, with “strategic investment by leading international brands like Yanmar of Japan and private equity partner, Black Stone of Singapore.”
The company also says it has launched its EEC approved Tier 3 Solis tractor ranging from 18-90 horsepower for European markets. It also plans to introduce a new range of narrow tractors for orchid applications, special tractors for paddy applications and tractors up to 180 horsepower for the global market.
According to the information provided to Farm Equipment, ITL is also manufacturing it CRDi engines and is collaborating with General Motors to supply these engines.
Claas, best known in North America for its Lexion combines and Jaguar forage harvesters, recently produced its 100,000 tractor at its plant in Le Mans, France, according to Neil Lyon of Fairfax Agricultural Media in an April 25 report in Farm Weekly.
Claas entered the tractor market in 2003 with the acquisition of Renault Agriculture, and has released 15 models across it Asion 900/800 and Arion 600/500 series in the past 2 years alone, Lyon reports.
While the company has not hinted that it’s ready to introduce its tractors to the North American market, it continues to expand its Harvest Centre network throughout Australia, as well as add to its Harvest Center stores in Nebraska.
Last fall, Claas opened its fourth Nebraska Harvest Center location in Ogallala to handle sale of Lexion combines, Jaguar forage harvesters, balers and hay equipment made by the company. By some accounts, Claass, which is based in Germany, is the fourth largest manufacturer of farm machinery worldwide. The company assembles Lexion combines for the North American market in Omaha, Neb.
The company has given no indication if or when it may bring its tractors to North America, but it’s a foregone conclusion that companies that want to be major players in ag equipment market must have a significant presence in the U.S.