AGCO began operations in France, when the group became the parent company of the Massey Ferguson brand in 1994, taking ownership of the Beauvais Massey Ferguson plant. Opened in 1960, the Beauvais AGCO site remains today the Global Centre of Excellence for Massey Ferguson engineering and manufacturing, as well as the first private employer of the whole Picardie region. Summing up its operations from Beauvais, Ennery and Courcouronnes, as well as its joint ventures GIMA and AGCO Finance, AGCO has approximately 2,500 employees in the country. As continental Europe's second largest economy, and one of the largest markets for farm machinery, France represents a strategically important market for AGCO. In France, AGCO actively drives business activities centered on the design, manufacture and distribution of farm machinery, strongly contributing to the French economy.
This decoration is in recognition, under Martin Richenhagen’s leadership, of AGCO’s contributions to the development of France and France-USA relations.
Conferring the Legion of Honor on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron, Dr. Monique Seefried, Chevalier in the Order of the Legion of Honor said: "I would like to thank Martin Richenhagen for his personal commitment and trust in our country's economy. I pay tribute, through him, to the strength of AGCO Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and solutions, and to its willingness to expand and develop in Europe, and especially in France where AGCO’s French-made tractors are admired and respected. Tractors embody our past and our future, linking our ancient human roots in agriculture to the technological progress of the 20th century. Tractors bring us back to the land, to the oldest profession of farming while heralding the power of machinery and industry.”