Flagship ‘IDEAL’ combine notches up awards, but will it sell?

AGCO – in the guise of Massey Ferguson and Fendt on this occasion – has been presented with a ‘Red Dot: Best of the Best’ award for its new IDEAL combine harvester.

The award was handed over at a ceremony at Essen’s Aalto Theatre (Germany) on July 9. The accolade is part of the ‘Red Dot Design Award: Product Design 2018‘ suite of awards.

Apparently, over 6,300 products from 59 countries were entered into this year’s Red Dot competition. The products were assessed by an international panel of 39 independent design industry professionals.

The IDEAL – as one of the ‘Best of the Best’ award winners – joins other 2018 recipients such as the Ferrari Portofino and McLaren 720S sports cars.

Eric Hansotia – senior vice president of AGCO’s Global Crop Cycle and Fuse Connected Services – and Barry O’Shea – vice president and product line leader of AGCO’s Global Gold Harvesting – accepted the  award on behalf of the machine’s design and development team.

“The IDEAL combine harvester is the result of many years’ research and development, dedicated cross-functional teamwork and leading industry expertise,” commented Hansotia.

The IDEAL was unveiled last year. According to AGCO sources, it is the first truly “new” combine harvester in over 30 years.

Also Read: Is AGCO’s latest creation the ‘Ideal’ combine harvester?

The IDEAL is supposedly the culmination of over five years of development – at a total cost rumoured to be in excess of €400 million.

Examples of the IDEAL are currently being put through their paces in Europe. This video (below) shows one such machine (a tracked version) working in Germany during recent weeks.

Meanwhile, closer to home, an IDEAL is currently being demonstrated in the UK; an example has been spotted at several locations.

However, the combine harvester market is difficult to master. Criteria such as perceived reliability, the availability of (local) dealers with suitable parts and service back-up and the prospect of good residual (re-sale) values are what buyers use to rank any potential purchase.

AGCO, and more specifically Massey Ferguson, has had mixed fortunes in the combine harvester market in western Europe during recent decades. It remains to be seen whether or not this machine will enable AGCO to wrangle a reasonable share of the spoils.

On this side of the Atlantic, it must compete head-on against the established Claas Lexion. In the US, for example, it must square up to the likes of John Deere’s S Series machine.