A brief history of the largest tractor brands and their logos
Fourth of Five: AGCO
AGCO is an agricultural equipment company, with an extensive list of brands, that has achieved explosive growth over the years by acquiring competitors.
AGCO Corporation, headquartered in Duluth, Georgia is the world’s third largest manufacturer and distributor of tractors and other farm equipment, behind Deere & Company and CNH.
Robert J. (Bob) Ratliff was the founder and driving force behind AGCO. It all started in 1990 when Ratliff and his management team bought the North American holdings of Deutz-Allis from a German company, KHD (Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz AG), which included Deutz-Allis tractors and Allis-Chalmers Gleaner combines. AGCO is the successor to Deutz-Allis Corp., which was formed in 1985 when KHD purchased the agricultural unit of Allis-Chalmers Corp.
The company was first called Gleaner-Allis Corporation, then rearranged to the Allis-Gleaner Corporation or AGCO. The Deutz-Allis line of tractors were renamed AGCO-Allis, and Gleaner became a brand of its own for combines. The Deutz-Allis brand continued in South America until 2001, when they were renamed AGCO-Allis. In 2001, AGCO Allis was renamed AGCO in North America.
In 1991, AGCO purchased the White tractor line and Hesston Corporation brands, gaining hay and forage equipment. A few years later in 1994, AGCO bought Massey Ferguson and assets of McConnell tractors and Black Machine planters.
AGCO gained international market share in 1997 when they purchased Fendt, a leading German tractor business. 2002 was the year that AGCO purchased rights to the Challenger name and the tracked tractors from the Caterpillar Corporation.
In 2004, they acquired Valtra tractors manufactured in Finland and Brazil. Expanding further internationally in 2007, AGCO purchased South American implement manufacturer Sfil and acquired half ownership of Laverda, an Italian harvesting equipment company. In 2011, they acquired the remaining half of Laverda, and in 2012, AGCO purchased 80% of Shandong Dafend Machinery Co, a Class I and II combine harvester manufacturer in China.
AGCO major brands include Massey Ferguson tractors, Challenger tractors and combines, Fendt and Valtra tractors, Gleaner combines, Hesston hay equipment, White planters, RoGator and TerraGator applicators, GSI grain systems and Sunflower tillage. Over the years, the list of AGCO brands has grown to include AP, Cimbria, Cumberland, Fella, Fuse, GSI, Precision Planting and Tecno.
By the time Ratliff died in 2017 at age 85, he had guided the company through a total of 21 acquisitions as it grew sales from $200 million in 1990 to over $5.4 billion in 2005.
1) John Deere