Caterpillar, Inc. and AGCO have signed an agreement for AGCO, a Georgia-based agricultural equipment manufacturer and distributor, to acquire the design, assembly and worldwide marketing of the new MT Series of Caterpillar's Challenger high-tech farm tractors.

“Caterpillar has a long history of designing and producing rugged, reliable agricultural machines, and this industry continues to represent an important growth opportunity for us,” said Robert Macier, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the company's Diversified Products Division.

“This agreement enables us to focus our efforts on those areas where we can add the highest value — engines, drivetrains, electronics and technology development — while AGCO provides its expertise in the assembly and marketing of agricultural products. It also offers Caterpillar the opportunity to provide additional engines and other components to AGCO — one of the leading global suppliers of agricultural equipment.”

Macier noted that Caterpillar already is a major engine supplier to AGCO, which is one of the largest customers of Caterpillar's Perkins Engines division.

This new and innovative tractor technology gives AGCO a leading entry into high-technology farming and large-acreage farming market segments. In addition, AGCO will provide Caterpillar dealers with additional products that will broaden their equipment offerings and enhance their competitive position in the agricultural equipment market.

AGCO is a multiple-brand producer with a full agricultural product line that AGCO sells throughout the world under brands that include Massey Ferguson, Hesston, Gleaner and Fendt.

Adding these outstanding Caterpillar machines to the brand line-up puts AGCO in a strong position to respond to the growing customer need for high-horsepower track-type tractors that can maintain more efficient traction under full loads than conventional rubber-tire tractors of similar size. The versatile new MT Series not only addresses that need, but provides the latest technology to tackle a wide variety of farming applications.

Under the agreement, Macier said, AGCO will immediately begin assembly of four models of the newly announced MT700 Series of Challenger tractors. It also calls for Caterpillar to be a long-term supplier of high-horsepower (220-500HP) diesel engines, drivetrains, and other major components, including the patented Mobil-trac system, with its rubber tracks that enable more efficient use of engine power with less soil compaction. This agreement also includes future MT Series tractors.

AGCO will acquire the MT Series product design, and will continue to market the tractors through Caterpillar dealers worldwide, as well as through a selected network of AGCO dealers. Caterpillar will provide technical support to AGCO on track technology and will maintain customer support services for all Challenger tractors produced before the sale of the MT Series to AGCO.