"The official figures from the Federal Motor Transport Agency on 2019 tractor registrations in Germany look great at first glance. A total of 12,038 new tractors were registered from January to May. That was 21.7% more than last year", said Paffen, pointing out that this is when early registrations from the end of 2017 continue to have an impact, which does subsequently mean fewer registrations for the beginning of 2018. Nevertheless, the German tractor market is currently relatively positive. In the first five months, Fendt ranks first in the overall tractor market with 23.9% of the market share from 0 hp, 29.4% from 51 hp and 42.6% from 201 hp. "Our aim is to further improve Fendt's excellent market position in Germany by the end of the year. We are delighted with the trust our customers have shown in us, and the impressive cooperation with independent Fendt sales partners", he said.
"The economic environment of the European agricultural technology industry remains positive", said Peter-Josef Paffen to open the AGCO/Fendt Press Conference, referring to the monthly Business Climate Index published by CEMA (European Agricultural Engineering Association). The monthly averages of the 140 or so owners, managers and board members surveyed remain firmly in the growth phase, yet slightly under the previous year's figures. "In the early harvest region, the crop harvest has already begun. Elsewhere, the harvest is about to start. Market experts are expecting a regular harvest in Europe after the year of drought. The coming months will reveal how the harvest volumes, quality, market prices and ultimately the incomes of farms actually pan out over the next few months. It will be exciting to see."
German tractor market stable
Tractor market share (%) in Germany
Sales units and market share on the up in Western and Central Europe
Western and Central Europe – not including Turkey – is and will continue to be the region with the highest sales and turnover figures for Fendt over the next few years. "Experts across the board are saying that the economic climate in Europe has for years been reliable and stable for both our customers and us as a high-export company. This has a great deal to do with the Euro and the European Union", said the Chairman of the AGCO/Fendt Management Board, and re-emphasised: "Fendt was able to further increase volumes and market shares in agricultural equipment markets in Europe. At 8.7%, we reached record heights for tractors from 0 hp in 2018 and we are well on our way to further increasing our market share this year. Again, in the market segment of large tractors over 200 hp, Fendt ranks first in Europe with a market share of about 30%."
In France, Fendt continues to be on track, with predicted sales of 4,000 Fendt tractors after 3,450 the previous year. In Italy, the Fendt team passed the 1,000 mark for the first time last year and is heading towards
1,200 units this year. In the UK, we're on track to selling over 1,000 Fendt tractors for the first time this year, despite or because of the Brexit debate. Spain, Scandinavia, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the Central European countries are also noticeably up on volumes and market shares.
Paffen seemed confident that the key to market success was and still is the professional cooperation with the nationwide and independent Fendt distribution network. For years, Fendt has come top in the annual Europe-wide survey on retailer satisfaction with major suppliers.
In Russia, AGCO is now also implementing the Route 66 Strategy, which enjoyed such success in Western Europe. "With its own Fendt ESO sales organisation, Fendt will serve its distribution partners in Russia from Moscow. With the new Fendt sales organisation, we're expecting sound growth in Russia from 2020 with the entire Fendt Full-Line range."
Fendt's global growth strategy
"As part of the global growth strategy, we have set ourselves the goal of offering the high-tech brand of Fendt around the globe. This applies to all regions with modern agriculture and suitable farm structures", said Paffen, citing the most recent example as Fendt's launch in Brazil at the end of March 2019 at the Agrishow in Sao Paulo. "We will launch in the Mato Grosso region this year with the top models of the Fendt 1000 Vario series. In 2020 we'll add the Fendt IDEAL large combine and the all-new 18-meter-wide precision seeder, the Fendt Momentum. The highly motivated new Fendt team in Brazil already took some orders at Agrishow. This kick-started the launch in Brazil and we are confident that we will continue to inspire many more customers with our exclusive Fendt solutions."
In North America, Fendt has returned to rising sales in recent years, especially with the new large tractors Fendt and Challenger 1000 Vario. "With the new 900-series Vario, we expect a further growth spurt in North America as well. The launch of the new Fendt IDEAL larger combine is also going well. All in all, a really good set of results for Fendt in North America, showing further growth potential."
Peter-Josef Paffen also sees some excellent growth opportunities in the Asia/Pacific/Africa (APA) region, where, he said, progress is gradually being made. "Last year saw the extremely successful launch of the Fendt Tigo loading wagon and round balers in Australia / New Zealand, for example, with these products doing incredibly well." In South Africa, the agricultural equipment market is currently somewhat subdued, although major customers in this region are still very interested in Fendt's range of large tractors and harvesters.
Tractor sales continue to rise
In nearly 90 years of company history, 2018 was Fendt's most successful year to date. "We were able to increase tractor sales by a further 12% to 16,806 units, as previously announced. At 66%, the export share remained roughly the same as the previous year. Growth continues. We are currently planning sales of 18,000 Fendt tractors plus X in 2019. This brings us a big step closer to our target of 20,000 tractors in 2020."
Fendt Full-Line ramps up a gear
"Our Fendt Full-Line range is also on the right track. We are planning sales of about 170 Fendt tracked machines this year. We are increasing our combine harvesters to 460 units, 100 of which are Fendt IDEAL large combines. The Katana is still running according to plan," said Paffen, delighted at the outstanding results for Fendt balers. "We will reach 125 square baler units this year, and 900 round baler units in their second year of sale. This is keeping the plant at Wolfenbüttel at full running capacity. In Fendt Nature Green, our mowers, tedders and rakes from the AGCO plant in Feucht are also doing very well. We're expecting to sell around 3,350 units in 2019, their third full year of sales. That's 1,000 more than in the previous year. With extensive investments, we are preparing for further growth in Feucht."
Fendt's now extensive range of loading wagons from Waldstetten is shaping up to be a hit. 250 units are planned in their second year of sales. Fendt sprayers from Hohenmölsen are also experiencing an impressive reception on the market. Planned unit numbers include 75 towed Fendt Rogator 300 sprayers and 130 self-driving Rogator 600 sprayers," said Paffen, mentioning that the sites have reached their capacity limits in recent months due to some impressive new orders. "We are working hard to enable further growth in all segments with appropriate investments and measures."
The growing production and sales figures at all six AGCO locations in Germany (Marktoberdorf, Asbach-Bäumenheim, Feucht, Hohenmölsen, Waldstetten and Wolfenbüttel) have been and continue to be linked to a higher headcount. At the end of December 2018, AGCO/Fendt employed a total of 5,398 people. That's 461 more positions than at the same time last year. At the end of May 2019, the number of employees continued to increase to 5,571; 173 more than at the end of 2018.
€73 million on Research and Development
"Fendt is the high-tech brand of the AGCO Group and is recognised worldwide as a driver of innovation in the agricultural machinery industry. At the Fendt Research and Development Centre in Marktoberdorf, new products and solutions are constantly being created that inspire and surprise our customers. In Marktoberdorf, around 500 engineers are working on development projects, mainly for tractors and forage harvesters, with a predicted budget of around €73 million for 2019. Then we have our Development teams in Feucht, Wolfenbüttel, Waldstetten and Hohenmölsen for our foraging harvesting solutions and sprayers."
Peter-Josef Paffen also took the opportunity at the Press Conference to update the journalists in the room on two future projects presented two years ago; the Fendt Xaver Robot and Fendt e100 Vario. "Both projects are still in the development phase. We firmly believe that both projects offer a lot of potential. The Xaver robots are small, lightweight, soil-friendly, autonomous, fast, safety-enabled and can be used longer after rainfall. The electric Fendt e100 Vario has generated an enormous amount of interest from very different customer groups. Especially in the municipal sector, on cattle farms with cowsheds and even in viticulture. In the meantime, practical tests with prototypes are ongoing. A few years of development work lie ahead of us before we are ready for series production."
And the Fendt team is also working very intensively on the topics of digitisation and smart farming. "How machines are networked and how data is collected and analysed, is progressing rapidly. Always with the clear commitment that the data belongs to the farmer and they alone determine what happens to that data", emphasised Paffen.
Fendt 2020 MT strategy
"We are in the third year of implementation and are well on our way with its concrete themes and goals", said Paffen before reporting on the current status of the Fendt 2020 Strategy: "The flame symbolises all our employees' extreme dedication and motivation, with a particular will to deliver. We are encouraging and nurturing the corporate culture with a number of hands-on projects, this year with action weeks promoting fitness and healthy eating. The second aspect is quality. This is first and foremost about Fendt's renowned product quality, which we have established and further improved with targeted measures. Next, we deal intensively with the partner networks in all markets. Together with highly motivated and future-ready sales partners, we want to offer the customer the best overall package of products and services. Number four on the strategy agenda is the entire Fendt full-line range, which has made excellent progress in recent years. Fendt combine harvesters, forage harvesting technology and sprayers are all in demand in the market and we are expanding our full-line range in a targeted way. The most recent example of this is the Fendt Momentum precision seeders, unveiled in Brazil at the end of April. Numerous pioneering achievements and plenty of national and international awards have accompanied Fendt on its journey over the decades. And that's why we consider research and development to be the fifth key strategic area. Every day we strive to surprise and inspire our customers with great products, now and in the future. And the globe is the symbol of Fendt's globalisation and worldwide growth. Fendt's launch in Brazil this year, rising sales in North America and the APA region and continued rising market shares across Europe, clearly show that we are on the right track. This year will see us take a big step closer to achieving our target of 20,000 Fendt tractors in 2020."
Because we understand farming. It`s Fendt
As well as presenting the usual topics of market and business development at the Press Conference, Peter-Josef Paffen introduced the Fendt brand's new slogan: "We – Fendt – develop machines for farmers and contractors. And have done for almost 90 years. For the first 70 years, Fendt was the tractor specialist. It was only after AGCO's acquisition in 1997 that the Fendt product range was expanded – cautiously at first – with harvesters. But it's no coincidence that the last three years have seen us grow into a true full-line provider. We Fendt employees are well aware of our origins. Many of us come from a farming background or have strong ties to agriculture. Our sites are located in rural areas. In other words, our neighbours are farmers, too. Our corporate culture and our aspiration to offer cutting edge technology of the highest quality have been decades in the making – both in terms of our machines and services. At the same time, we all know that the digital revolution is picking up pace – especially in agriculture. As an agricultural equipment manufacturer, our DCX (Digital Customer Experience) range opens up all-new fields of business, so we can meet the growing demands of modern farmers – and continue to do so in the years to come. It's our aim to be able to provide farmers around the globe with products and services that cover their entire supply chain. And that's what we do. Because we understand farming. It's Fendt. As of today, that's our new claim, our new slogan for the Fendt brand. With it, we want to show all our potential customers worldwide that Fendt is actively addressing the challenges of the future."