World’s third largest tractor maker swallows up IMT 

TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd) – the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer (by volume) – has acquired Serbian tractor and farm equipment brand IMT (Industrija Masina i Traktora).

Though the deal has been widely reported, no details regarding the monies involved have – as yet – been confirmed.

IMT encountered financial difficulties back in 2015 and has effectively been bankrupt since – thus necessitating its sale.

This long-standing brand had a wide range of tractors and implements in its product portfolio. The implement line-up included ploughs, cultivators, maize planters, seed drills and materials handling equipment.

IMT’s tractor range stretched from 35hp to over 200hp. The brand was, at one time, popular in eastern Europe, north Africa and the Balkan states.

At its height, in the late 1980s, IMT was reportedly building over 40,000 tractors per year (along with over 30,000 implements).

TAFE’s links with IMT can be traced back over several decades; existing agreements between the two companies have typically revolved around the supply of components and technical support.

As part of the take-over, TAFE will now get access to use the IMT brand-name and associated intellectual property rights.

“TAFE and IMT have shared a long, mutually beneficial cooperation. This acquisition will play a key role in our strategic and growth plans for the future,” Mallika Srinivasan – chairman and CEO of TAFE – said when speaking to the Times of India.

Who or what is TAFE?

TAFE is a sizeable entity; its annual sales exceed 150,000 tractors. Turnover topped 93 billion Indian Rupees (INR) last year, which equates to well over €1 billion. It’s one of India’s biggest tractor exporters.

Image source: Michigan Equipment

It manufactures tractors in the sub-100hp segment – using both air-cooled and water-cooled engines. Its tractors are sold under a variety of brands, including Massey Ferguson, Eicher and – of course – its own trademark.

The company’s involvement with Massey Ferguson stretches back over five decades; it is now a shareholder in Massey Ferguson’s parent company – AGCO.

Besides complete tractors and farm machinery, TAFE manufactures diesel engines, transmissions, hydraulic pumps, batteries and other components.