If you received the February 22 edition of E-Watch, which was sent out this morning, one of the news stories entitled, LS Mtron Shooting for 15% Tractor Market Share,” states that “LS Mtron … produces Kioti tractors, which it sells in the U.S.”
This is incorrect.
Daedong Industrial Co. of Korea produces the Kioti tractor brand. LS Tractor of Korea produces the LS brand of tractors that are sold in North America.
The corrected story is run in its entirety below. Farm Equipment regrets this error.
LS Mtron Shooting for 15% Tractor Market Share
LS Mtron and its LS Tractors operation is part of the $16 billion LS Corp. industrial conglomerate and two of three businesses spun out of LS Cable 3 years ago. The company produces LS brand tractors, which it sells in the U.S., and recently signed an agreement to supply New Holland’s Boomer and Case IH’s Farmall lines of small tractors.
The tractor division can trace its roots to the mid-1970s when a Korean tractor business was founded with technical assistance and licensed designs from Fiat — today’s majority shareholder in CNH Global.
Sales revenues from tractor operations have grown from $14 million in the mid-1980s to $177 million in 2008. Gwang-won Lee, managing director of LS Tractors, says the CNH contract will go far in reaching the company’s 15% global market share target by 2015 and a revenues target approaching $890 million. He also wants LS Tractors to achieve top-5 brand status in the North American market by 2012 and to have 50,000 units capacity by then.
The company is already close to realizing the latter goal: LS moved into a new
20,000 unit Korean factory 4 years ago and is completing a plant of similar output potential in China. Gwang-won Lee says products from this $4.5 million investment will be positioned to avoid the generally smaller, low-tech machines built by domestic manufacturers while positioning itself between the sub-35 horsepower tractors produced by most Japanese companies and the 100 horsepower-plus models favored by Western firms.
Daedong Industrial Co. also established its tractor-making credentials with Western help, securing a technical agreement with Ford Tractor Operations (New Holland’s predecessor) in the late 1960s.
It first started exporting tractors to the U.S. in the mid-1980s and founded the Daedong-USA and Kioti Tractor operations, both based in Wendell, N.C., since 2004, in 1993.
Daedong also produces the Mechron gas and diesel engine all-terrain utility vehicle.