Agco Corp., owners of not only the AGCO Tractors brand but also Massey Ferguson and Challenger rented the Georgia Dome for the biggest launch in company history Tuesday night.
"This is literally the biggest product launch in our history," Agco spokesman Reid Hamre said at a press conference the day before. He predicted the new lines will change the company and the lives of its dealers. "And really, this has the opportunity to change the way your readers farm," Hamre said.
AGCO spent about $200 million on research and development for the new lines, all of which feature selective catalytic reduction, or e3 technology as branded by the company; continuously variable transmissions with power management; integrated ISOBUS control systems with tractor management centers on expanded arm rests; and cabs that are larger than any on the market.
The company started taking orders for the tractors in November and will start delivering to the U.S. in March.
With the global economy almost universally in a slump, many might wonder about Agco's timing. No fear, said Agco Chairman and CEO Martin Richenhagen and North America Senior Vice President and General Manager Bob Crain.
"I think farm commodities outperform everything else,' Richenhagen. "Even in a crisis, we are still doing very well."
Agco is carrying no debt and expects to report record profits later this month, Richenhagen said. "Financially, we are in a very strong position."
Crain said this is a "great time to be in the industry."
"You've got to be bullish in terms of the many, many good years out in front of us," Crain said. "We're having a heckuva lot of fun right now."
So, how about those tractors? Here are the details:
Challenger MT600 Series
The MT600C series includes four models with maximum gross engine horsepower from 270 hp to 350 hp. List price starts at $180,000 for the 205 hp and $245,000 for the 275 hp. Financing starts at 1.95% all tractors carry a standard warranty for 2 years or 2,000 hours.
Powered by the AGCO SISU Power 8.4 L engines, the MT600C Series tractors are addressing EPA emissions standards now and in the future by introducing e3 Selective Catalytic Reduction technology to significantly reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulates.
"The e3 SCR technology offers a potential fuel savings over our competitors – up to 15% better" said John Rogers, senior product trainer for AGCO Corp. "That allows us to improve the efficiency of the engine significantly. Our hp to fuel use ratio leads the category."
The SCR technology works by treating the exhaust emissions after engine combustion. SCR allows the engine to perform at optimum power, performance and economy, without making alterations to meet exhaust gas emissions requirements. Instead SCR engine system exhausts are treated with DEF fluid, marketed under names like TerraCair and AdBlue, urea-based products that convert nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water vapor.
This also is the first line of Challengers to include the TechStar continuously variable transmission with Power Management. The TechStar CVT provides infinitely variable forward speed variations up to 32 mph. The Power Management feature, which can be activated from the cab with the push of a button, automatically coordinates engine speed with the transmission, helping the tractor to operate as efficiently as possible. This allows the tractor to maintain the most productive engine speed and transmission gear in any task and any field condition. The CVT, unlike powershift transmissions, always operates the tractor at the optimal speed and most effective RPM levels for the desired speed.
The MT600 Series also brings the Pinnacle View cab to the market. The four-post cab, surrounded by 67 square feet of glass for a 360° view, is almost 30% larger than the previous model, and currently is the largest cab in its class. The new cab design also puts command of the machine at the operator's fingertips. Using the Challenger Tractor Management Center, nearly every tractor or implement function can be quickly controlled and modified to suit a variety of operating conditions.
For more information on Agco e3 technology, visit www.agcocorp.com/e3. For more information on the Challenger MT600C Series, visit www.newfromchallenger.com.
Agco DT Series
The Agco DT series features four models with new, higher horsepower ratings, including: the DT205B with 205 PTO hp; DT225B with 225 PTO hp; DT250B with 250 PTO hp; and DT275B rated at 275 PTO hp with a maximum 350 ISO engine hp. Suggest list prices start at $160,000 for the 205 PTO hp and $225,000 for the 275 PTO hp.
The new Agco Sisu Power 8.4 L engine also includes the e3 SCR technology to significantly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates. A new generation of styling features a one-piece hood with easy access to the engine, and improved forward visibility. A new sculpted chassis, with a new front axle, provides a solid foundation for the DT Series. And the front axle is heavier, with larger final drives for strength to handle larger draft loads and weight. The DT series also features the CVT with Power Management and the Pinnacle View cab.
For more information, on AGCO Tractors, visit www.agcoiron.com.
Massey Ferguson 8600 Series
With the MF8600 Series, Massey Ferguson extends its line into a new power sector – up to 275 PTO horsepower, 350 engine horsepower – by equipping each of the four models with the 8.4-liter (514 cu. in.) Agco Sisu power engine. The series includes the MF8650 with 205 PTO hp/270 max. engine hp; MF8660 with 225 PTO hp/295 max. engine hp; MF8670 with 250 PTO hp/320 max. engine hp; and MF8680 with 275 PTO hp/350 max. engine hp. Suggested list price starts at $160,000 for the 205 PTO hp and $225,000 for the 275 PTO hp.
Parent company Agco Corp. also included the e3 SCR technology for emission control, the new CVT with Power Management and the Pinnacle View cab in these models. Additionally, those interested in the new MF8600 Series can look for these features:
• The highest 3-point capacity in the class, with an optional Integrated Front
Linkage System with more than 11,000 lbs of 3-point lift capacity and rear 3-point linkage with more than 22,760 lbs lift capacity
• Optional factory-installed, front PTO
• 46 gal/min auxiliary hydraulics system with up to six hydraulic remotes.
For more information on the MF600 Series, visit www.masseyferguson.com/8600series.