Currently, John Deere cabs for tractors built in the United States (US) are produced at the company’s Waterloo plant, but manufacture is soon to move to Mexico.

The new home for production will be the Ramos Component Works, one of the company’s manufacturing facilities in Mexico.

New products on the way?

The reason Deere gave for this move was to clear production space at Waterlooo for new products, although it declined to say just what they might be.

A statement from the company reads:

“It is common practice to prepare our business operations ahead of any new product introductions.”

The Waterloo plant was at the centre of last autumn’s strike action when production staff gained significant changes to their pay and conditions, including a 20% pay increase over the life of the new contracts.

It is understood that only around 250 people will be impacted by the move with the company hoping that natural wastage, coupled with a strong local demand for workers, will soften the blow and avoid involuntary redundancies.

Move to Mexico within 2 years

It is intended that the move will be completed by the end of 2024. Cabs for European-built tractors are assembled in Bruchsal, Germany, and production is not affected by the move.

John Deere first got involved in Mexico in 1956, after plans for a merger with Massey Harris Ferguson had collapsed. $2 million was set aside to buy land at Monterrey, Mexico, on which to build a factory to serve the South American market.

The facility was opened within three years and all went well for for a while, until the Mexican government insisted on 51% Mexican ownership of the operation there.

Only a disappointing 8% of the stock was placed with local investors at the time, who, had they a crystal ball, might have been a little more enthusiastic in buying into the company at ground level.