From east to west: More Korean tractors destined for Irish farms?
LS Mtron, a South Korean brand, has been showing its wares at various events around the globe, including last week’s SIMA show in Paris.
This is yet another ‘eastern’ manufacturer that has set its sights on western Europe, including countries like the UK and Ireland. To date, it has sold limited quantities of compact and groundcare tractors into the UK and Ireland. Now, the focus is on bigger machines – and bigger numbers.
At present, the biggest tractor in the line-up is the 102hp XP7102, which is powered by a 4-cylinder Fiat Power-Train (FTP) engine. It drives through a 24-ratio gearbox, with an electro-hydraulic shuttle. The gearbox is manufactured in-house.
LS Mtron is a sizeable entity in its native Korea, producing a surprisingly diverse range of products, including injection moulding machines, automotive parts, industrial electrical components and, of course, tractors.
The company’s origins can be traced back to the early 1960s. The ‘LS’ brand name was conceived in 1983. By 1986, the firm has established a base in China for its electronics parts business.
From the mid 1990s onwards, the company underwent rapid growth – right through until the early 2000s. In 1998, for example, the firm signed a contract for the supply of $100 million of tractors in the USA. In the same year, the company’s automotive rubber hose business was founded.
In 2007, a further electronics parts subsidiary was set up in China. A year later, the LS Mtron corporate name appeared; signalling a new identity for the company.
More recently, in 2010, a new tractor factory was built in China. The firm built a new engines plant in Korea in 2014 – for its smaller tractors.
Other Korean players
Other Korean tractor manufacturers include Kioti, which is handled here in Ireland by P J Callan, based in Ardee, Co. Louth. Daedong is the company behind the Kioti brand. It’s legacy stretches back to 1947; it all started in a small city in Korea. Kioti now has a presence in a wide variety of countries around the globe, including Ireland.