John Deere once again topped the sales charts for tractors in the Republic of Ireland with 420 units sold in 2020. This represents a 22% slice of the market for that year.

This was 32 ahead of its nearest rival, Massey Ferguson, which managed 388 units (20%), and 72 more than New Holland which came in third with 348 sales (18%).

However, John Deere is one company with one brand, so while its total looks impressive, it lags behind AGCO which owns the three brands of Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra, sales of which added up to 555 tractors (29%).

Massey ferguson tractor
Massey Ferguson was down from last year but still took second place

CNH Industrial, the parent company of Case and New Holland, came a close second with 549 units (28%), while the other major multi brand company, Agri Argo, achieved a total of 54 machines (3%) with Landini and McCormick.

BrandTotal 2020Total 2019Total 2018
John Deere 420419421
Massey Ferguson388402329
New Holland348342383
Case IH201224215
Deutz Fahr585468
Zetor 301611
Other makes 352152
Totals 191019681984
Manufacturer totals

Market trends

There is always a lapse of a year before the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) publicly issues the sales figures for each brand, so 2021’s total will not be available until next January.

However, despite this gap, the sales pattern for the three years listed above shows some interesting trends.

New Holland showed a slight increase in unit sales
New Holland showed a slight increase in unit sales

While John Deere has remained remarkably steady in the number of units sold, its slice of the market has varied slightly according to the total numbers of tractors sold.

This consistent performance is not to be disparaged, but it does tend to indicate that the company has reached some sort of ceiling and no doubt the company management will be frustrated by the lack of growth.

Case CNHi tractor manufacturer
Case sales fell back from 2019, yet it remains at number five in the charts

Meanwhile, over at AGCO HQ, there will obviously be some satisfaction that the company hauled past CNHi in total sales figures to take a 1% greater share of the market.

The company’s two premium brands have bounced back from 2019, although it is Valtra that is showing the stronger performance while Fendt recovered from a year that appears to have favoured the bread and butter makes.

AGCO Valtra brand
Valtra increased sales significantly helping AGCO edge ahead of CNHi

The top three manufacturers accounted for 80% of the market during 2020, which left the smaller brands slugging it out over the remaining fifth.

Variable sales trends

Here the swings and roundabouts of fortune were far more prominent with much movement amid the trailing pack.

Kubota tractor sales
Kubota is looking to improve sales in the agricultural sector

At the top of this pile is Kubota and Deutz Fahr, the former having a strong following from operators of non agricultural tractors which tames the wildest excesses of differences in annual sales.

Deutz Fahr, on the other hand, has a limited number of dealers and so only a small difference in sales of individual units makes a big difference to the variation in total sales when expressed as a percentage.

Deutz fahr tractor
Deutz Fahr’s performance will be boosted by new dealer appointments

From there on in there just isn’t the consistency that the top brands enjoy, although the decline in AgriArgo tractor sales must be a matter of concern over in the Italian headquarters.

Landini  Agri argo
New models and a revamp of the range will help Landini reverse the slide

Same have cause for quiet satisfaction for they have not suffered any great loss of share, yet they have not enjoyed any great boost in sales either.

Zetor has made something of a comeback against Tumosan with a revamped dealer network having been established after some of its former agents decamped to the Turkish brand.

The JCB Fastrac is a niche tractor in a niche of its own creation, yet it must be feeling the heat from other tractors that are equipped with 50km/h transmissions and all round suspension. That niche is not so distinct as it once was.

Altogether, 2020 was a depressed year due, in the greater part, to the Covid-19 situation. Thankfully, sales for 2021 were far brighter as the market rebounded and commodity prices stayed firm.

A total of 2,366 tractors were sold in 2021, an increase of 456 over the previous year.