Chennai-based TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd), the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer, is banking on new technology and innovations to develop and manufacture new high-productivity and efficient tractors.
The company yesterday launched two new series of tractors – the new ‘Smart’ series of Massey Ferguson tractors and a premium compact utility tractor – for the domestic and international markets in Chennai.
According to TAFE, the Smart series tractors, which are in the 40hp-60hp range, offer enhanced productivity, efficiency and utility along with improved operator comfort as a result of enhanced ergonomics. The premium ‘compact utility tractor’ is billed as the first of its kind in India – sophisticated yet rugged in the 28hp segment and capable of versatile operations in orchards, haulage or a range of infrastructure applications. Its ability to also work with applications like front-end loaders and backhoes makes it an all-rounder.
TAFE claims the premium compact utility tractor has 15% more power, 30% more torque, 17% more speed and 60% more hydraulics with all the necessary implements and equipment for farmers.
Speaking on the new products, Mallika Srinivasan, chairman and CEO, TAFE, said, “With the ‘SMART‘ series, we will be redefining customer experience with respect to productivity, efficiency and ergonomics by setting new standards in the industry. We are expanding the application portfolio for the products and paving the way for precision farming. With the launch of the new premium compact utility tractor, I believe we are creating a new segment, given the evolving needs of young farmers and their changing expectations with regards to versatility and ease of use, through the year.”
The Smart S and SJ series has two engine options and is combined with power pack economy with two-wheel and four-wheel-drive variants. The Smart series tractors come with 12-speed Rototrac transmission and 16-speed super shuttle and 16-speed comfimesh. The tractors also have the iLEAD electronic smart key which remotely leads, locates and locks the tractor.
Given the low productivity in Indian farmland compared to developed markets, there is a lot of headroom for tractor makers to grow. With the cost of labour rising considerably, farmers in different parts of the country are going on a higher level of mechanisation. Also, with a bountiful monsoon this year, farm yield is on the upswing which means demand for tractors will see an uptick sooner rather than later.
In FY2016-17, TAFE is targeting sales of 145,000 tractors including 18,000 units from exports. The company is also optimistic about doubling its exports in FY2017-18 as it sees robust demand coming its way from some of its key markets like Turkey, USA and South Asia.