As apparent as it seems to be, how AGCO Corp. got its name came about without a lot of forethought, according to Robert Ratliff, who founded the company in 1990.
“Everyone wonders where the name came from. After we acquired Deutz-Allis from Klöckner Humboldt and Deutz of Germany, we thought we just call it the Allis Gleaner Company because all we really had were the old Allis tractor memories and the Gleaner combine. But we quickly abandoned that idea because the company handling the bankruptcy of Allis Chalmers was in control of its assets or the residue of its assets, would not let us use the word ‘Allis’ as a prefix without a major royalty.
“We didn’t have the money for anything like that, so we gave up on that idea and we looked at Gleaner-Allis and all kinds of things. After a lot of conversation, we just said, ‘Let’s just make it AGCO.’ We figured people could translate it any way they wished. Also, it would be first in the phonebook, so the name really was never defined internally in any specific manner.”