It's not every day that a company calls and offers you an exclusive first look at a new machine - really. I'm hoping more do, but I'll take 'em as they come.
Anyway, this week I traveled to New Holland, Penn., and visited New Holland, where I got to chat with Abe Hughes, vice president, North America, about the company and about the newest tractor the Genesis T8. The company wants the world to know that its newest tractor has an innovative heritage, and the best way to do that is name it Genesis. I was also joined by my colleague John Vogel, editor, American Agriculturist.
Twenty years ago, when I was living a different life as a freelancer, I got the opportunity to actually help create the press kit for the new Genesis tractor. That gave me a first look at a machine that offered some pretty innovative features for the time - from that Super Steer axle to the Sidewinder console in the cab. And even today the tractor has a super resale value.
About 22,160 of those tractors were made, and in that market segment over its six-year life New Holland pushed its market share from 4% to over 11%, Hughes says. That's Impressive performance for a company that at the time was in the throes of a big transition. Ford Motor Company had sold its tractor division to New Holland - in fact the first Genesis tractors had FORD on the side in big letters. The company knew it had to make a statement with a new tractor, and it did.
Talking to Hughes about this new machine, and the work he's been doing over the last three years to rejuvenate New Holland, and I get the feeling there's a new energy in the company too. He's an energetic, and I'm sure demanding, boss (who isn't these days - present company included) who has a vision for New Holland that's already paying off in higher profits; and happier dealers. The new Genesis is the next big step. "This name is important. It says technology and it's recognized by the industry," Hughes says. "And you'll be seeing more innovations from Genesis in the future."
This did bring back plenty of memories, as do most of the big rollouts I've covered. Seeing the new Genesis T8 with its muscular appearance and it's quieter-running Tier 4a engine was nice as well.
I'm thinking there are a few of you out there with some great tractor memories - whether they're Genesis or some other brand. If you want to share in the comments below feel free, or drop me an email at email@example.com. These machines bring great memories of endurance, and reliability, in the face of adversity - not unlike the dry weather we had last year and the super wet conditions this year.
I hope I'm around in 20 years so I can look back on the launch of this Genesis to see how it did over time too. Check it out when one rolls into your local dealership. It's an interesting machine. See my report on the Genesis too.
And check out these blogs I'm reading:
Does Monsanto Own Oregon's Glyphosate-Resistant Wheat?
One the Farm, What Tech Tool is the Next Big Thing?