New Holland India, subsidiary of New Holland, the Netherlands-based tractor manufacturer, is all set to expand its operations in India. Not satisfied with being confined to the tractor market, the company intends to bring in some of the other products it makes and sells internationally.
These include construction equipment, including skid-steer loaders, and farm machinery and agricultural equipment such as combined harvesters, balers, mowers and backhoe. In short, it is aiming to become a major farm and construction equipment company.
Meanwhile, the company, which launched its 70 hp Ford tractors in April 1998, introduced a 50 hp tractor in the market in the second week of March 1999. Next stop: a 35 hp tractor, to be launched in the year 2000.
The company has already invested close to $50 million in its Indian operations, and plans to bring in an additional $25 million over the next year. It has a Rs. 300-crore plant at Greater Noida, near New Delhi. Current capacity is around 5,000 tractors. By the year 2000, that will rise to 12,000 and by the year 2003, to 35,000.
New Holland is aiming at 90 per cent indigenisation by next year. It is negotiating with Ashok Leyland for the supply of the truck maker's Iveco engines.
The company's main rivals in tractors are: Mahindra, Swaraj, TAFE, Escorts and Punjab Tractors. Tractor sales grew an estimated 4.1 per cent during the Apr-Feb period of 1998-99. The 1999-2000 Union budget raised excise duty on tractors from 13 per cent to 16 per cent. This has pushed tractor prices up. For example, New Holland's 70 hp tractor will now cost Rs.14,000 more.