Between free market and captive
In the top ten of agricultural OEMs, there is a brand of Indian roots. We’re not talking about Mahindra, but about Escort. «Farmtrac is going through an important transition period and has undertaken an ambitious strategic plan for 2022 in which innovation, technological progress and smart farming solutions will be at the base of its evolution», said Rajiv Wahi, Head of International Business of Farmtrac Tractors Europe.
At Eima, we asked Rajiv Wahi and Shakti Kumar Singh, DGM Engine Design & Testing, which strategies is the Indian group following.
How are Farmtrac and the Escort group moving in the differentiation of the motor approach?
We are an international group, since 2000 we control twoproductionplants in Poland, with our subsidiary. We are gradually moving from Perkins engines to our own captive engines, which respect emissions standards and are competitive both in terms of performance and cost. Our family of compact is StageV appproved; at the moment, in the range between 14.7 and 25.7 kilowatts (20 – 35 hp), we use Mitsubishi. We will continue to sell these tractors until 2020, but we are ready to install our Stage V engines (editor’s note: the 4 cylinder, AxC 98×122 mm, 66 kW and 310 Nm was on display at the booth). Perkins is our partner for the approval of European standards.
We have the production capacity to make about 150 thousand engines a year. This year we have fired 110 thousand tractors, considering a capacity of 250 thousand tractors. In India we produce tractors for 63 markets, including Tier 4 Final ones for the US, and for other major markets such as Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Japan. In Poland we concentrate our production for the European market.
What about the Stage V?
We are able to supply all the markets, even those of North Africa, with the same technological characteristics of the highly regulated markets. We have converted to water-cooled quite some time ago, we have adopted the common rail and the cooled EGR for Tier 4 Final and implemented on-board devices with temperature sensors, DOC and DPF, in addition to SCR, when requested.
What about the so-called alternatives?
At Agritechnica, we have unveiled an electric tractor with an integrated central mowing system. We should market it by the end of 2019. It is just one of the examples we can give in the field of alternatives: no noise, no vibration, excellent for organic farms, greenhouses, rows and other applications as such. We are working on solar technology, even in agricultural applications, with 2027 in mind, to provide new solutions to tomorrow’s agriculture.