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Massey Ferguson

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Massey Ferguson Limited
Type Subsidiary of AGCO
Founded 1958
Headquarters United States Duluth, Georgia, USA
Industry Agriculture
Products Agricultural machinery, Consumer & Commercial Equipment, Financial Services, Tractors
Massey ferguson tractor

Massey Ferguson Tractor

Ferguson trailer - at Peterborough-IMG 3045

A Massey Ferguson trailer

Massey Ferguson 35 and 3 ton trailer - John Gunningham at Newark 08 - IMG 3709

An award winning restoration by John Gunningham from Somerset on display at the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show 2008

Massey Ferguson Limited was a major agricultural equipment manufacturer. Formed by a merger between Massey-Harris and the Ferguson tractor company in the early 1950s, a series of financial difficulties in the 1980s led to the company downsizing and being broken up before what was left of the original firm disappeared in the 1990s. Today the company exists only as a brand name used by AGCO, but remains a major seller around the world.


The firm originated in 1847 in Newcastle, Ontario by Daniel Massey as the Newcastle Foundry and Machine Manufactures. The company began making some of the world's first mechanical threshers, first by assembling parts from the United States and eventually designing and building their own equipment. The firm was taken over and expanded by his eldest son Hart Almerrin Massey who renamed it the Massey Manufacturing Co. and in 1879 moved the company to Toronto where it soon became one of the city's leading employers. The massive collections of factories on King St. West became one of the best known features of the city. Massey expanded the company and began to sell its products internationally. Through extensive advertising campaigns he made it one of the most well known brands in Canada. It is reputed that the firm owed much of its success to Canadian tariffs that prevented the larger American firms from competing in Canada. A labour shortage throughout the country also helped to make the firm's mechanized equipment very attractive.

Massey Harris 201

A Massey-Harris 201 at Newby Hall in 2008

In 1891, Massey merged with the A. Harris, Son & Co. Ltd. to become Massey-Harris Co. and became the largest agricultural equipment maker in the British Empire. In 1910, the company opened a factory in the United States, making it one of Canada's first multinational firms. In the 1930s, it introduced the first self-propelled combine harvester. Massey-Harris also produced one of the world's first four-wheel drive tractors. Hart Massey's sons, Charles, Chester, Walter, and Fred became closely involved in the business and eventually took over its operations. They were, however, the last generation of Masseys to run the company. Other members of the family went on to do other accomplishments: Vincent Massey became Governor General of Canada and Raymond Massey became a noted actor in American films. The Massey family used their fortune to improve the city of Toronto, and many institutions, such as the University of Toronto, Upper Canada College, Crescent School, Appleby College, Massey Hall and Metropolitan United Church, were partially financed by the Masseys.


In 1953, the company merged with the Ferguson Company to become Massey-Harris-Ferguson, before finally taking on its current name in 1958.


The company shortened the name to Massey-Ferguson in 1958, and tried to consolidate the two dealer networks and product lines. Its television and radio advertising featured an upbeat jingle of a mens' chorus singing, "He's a get-up-early, keep-'em-rollin', Massey-Ferguson kind of a man." But the company soon began to decline financially. Facing increasing international competition and an agricultural sector diminishing in importance, the firm began to struggle.


In 1955, Massey purchased the Australian H.V. McKay company, manufacturers of the brand Sunshine. Hugh Victor McKay had invented the stripper harvester in 1884, the first machine to combine the functions of reaping, threshing and winnowing grain from a standing crop. McKay later established a manufacturing base at Ballarat, and then transferred to Braybrook Junction, re-named Sunshine in 1907 after the harvester's brand name. By the 1920’s the H.V. McKay Company was running the largest implement factory in the southern hemisphere covering 30.4 hectares (76 acres), and were leading the international agricultural industry through the development of the world's first self-propelled harvester in 1924.

In 1930 the H.V. McKay Company was granted exclusive Australian distribution of Massey-Harris machinery. The company was then renamed H.V. McKay Massey Harris Pty Ltd. Throughout World War II H.V. McKay Massey Harris exported over 20,000 Sunshine drills, disc harrows and binders to England to facilitate the increase in food production.


In 1959, Massey bought 100% of Landini, based in Italy. Landini has built many models for Massey over the years, especially vineyard and crawler models. Massey sold 66% to ARGO SpA in 1989, some to Iseki in 1994, and the final 9% to ARGO in 2000. ARGO and AGCO still provide models to one another.[1]


In 1959 Perkins Engines of Peterborough, England, was purchased. Perkins having been the main diesel engine supplier for Massey Ferguson for many years. In 1990 taking over Dorman Diesels of Stafford to form Perkins Engines (Stafford) Ltd. Followed by Perkins in the 1980s also taking over Rolls Royce (Diesels) Ltd, to form Perkins engines (Shrewsbury) Ltd. Perkins was sold off in 1998 by then owner LucasVarity to Caterpillar Inc. who was a major customer for their smaller & medium power engines, Caterpillar being a major producer of large diesel engines for static and mobile application.[2]

Ebro of SpainEdit

In 1966, Massey purchased 32% of the Spanish tractor and auto company Ebro, or Motor Iberica. Ebro had previously built Ford tractors under licence, but now began building models for Massey, and Massey models under licence. Massey sold its interest to Nissan in the 1980s.[3]

Starting in 1969, Massey Ferguson started producing a line of snowmobiles by the name Ski Whiz. The snowmobile line sold until 1977, when sales declined.

Conrad Black take overEdit

In the 1970s, Massey Ferguson came under the control of Conrad Black. During the late 1970s, production was relocated to a new large facility in Brantford, Ontario. In 1987 Massey Ferguson was the first to introduce an electronic control system for the three-point hitch on a tractor.[citation needed]

In 1973, Massey purchased the German company Eicher, and many Massey-licensed Eichers were built. They later sold their interest, and Dromson now owns the company. They now build specialized tractors for vineyards and such. The mf 135

In 1981, Black donated his shares in Massey Ferguson to the employee's pension plans leading the way to a $250 million government bail-out from the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario for the collapsing company which later renamed itself as Varity Corporation. In the mid 1980s, Varity spun off several money-losing divisions into an entity called Massey Combines Corporation. Massey Combines Corporation was headquartered in Brantford, Ontario and became insolvent on March 8, 1998, and its assets were re-acquired by Massey Ferguson.

Fermec sale Edit

In 1992, a management buyout of MF Industrial created the company Fermec, which in turn was purchased by J.I.Case in 1997. In 2001, Fermec when it was sold to the Terex corporation. This encompassed all construction equipment from Massey except for South America. (Fermec North America is still owned by J.I.Case successor CNH).[4]

Despite some of the companies' hardships, Massey Ferguson was selling 25% more tractors than its nearest competitors at this time. In 1995 Massey Ferguson’s worldwide holdings were purchased by the US-based AGCO Corporation. In August 1996, Varity merged with Lucas Automotive to become LucasVarity.

After a series of mergers and take-overs, the remains of LucasVarity were taken over by the US company TRW. Since 1962, Massey Ferguson has been the world's leading tractor brand.[citation needed] Currently, there are more Massey tractors than any other, worldwide.


MF 35 with hydraulic loader-P8100554

MF fitted with loader (modified for power tilt)

MF Muck spreader (restored) -P8100545

Restored MF muck spreader

Massey Ferguson (under control of AGCO Corporation) have continued to developed a wide range of agricultural vehicles and have a large share in the market across the world especially in Europe.

The first truly wholesale tractor was the Massey Ferguson TVO which was quickly replaced by the Diesel 20. Proceeding the Diesel 20 came the Massey Ferguson 35 (a Ferguson design) and later MF 35X. These tractors were massively popular and sold well across the UK and Ireland in particular.

They then went on to develop a range of tractors, but the next huge seller was the MF135, widely popular because of its reliability and power compared with other tractors at the time.

The range was then expanded to create the Massey Ferguson 100 series. These included the MF 145, 148, 150, 165, 168, 175, 178, 185 and 188. Later came the (Massey Ferguson 500 series) MF 550, 565, 575, 590, 595. From the early 80s came the Massey Ferguson 200 series tractor, which included the MF 240, 245, 250, 255, 260, 265, 270, 275, 278, 280, 285, 290, 299.

In the mid '80s the short-lived Massey Ferguson 600 series was released. This included the 690, 690T, 695, 698 and 699. The reason for poor sale was attributed to its poor looks and cab awkwardness compared to its predecessors, by some buyers and the press.

In the late '80s, one of the greatest selling tractors of all time was released- the 300 series Massey Ferguson. Excellent power, simplicity of cab, high range of gears and components made the Massey Ferguson 300 series a roaring success especially in Europe. The range included the MF 362,375,390, 390T, 393, 394, 395, 398, and the most powerful and popular Massey Ferguson 399. Ranging from 72HP to 104HP, It was reputed that "there was nothing this tractor could not do for a farmer of that time and still to this day".

In the mid '90s the Massey Ferguson 6100 series and Massey Ferguson 8100 series were released, including the 6150, 6180 and 8130.


Today Massey Ferguson is one of the most widely used brands of tractors around the world. With licensing deals, it is one of the largest brands, along with John Deere. Tractors that came after the 300 series included the Massey Ferguson 4200 series, the MF 4300 series and presently the Massey Ferguson 5400 series. MF produced many tractors in between that were aimed at a more niche market including "Datatronic" and "Dynashift/Powershift" machines. These included the 3600 (early 90s), 3000 (early to mid 90s), 3100 (mid 90s), 6100 (late 90s), 6200 (late 90s/early 2000s), 8200 (late 90s/early 2000s), 6400(present), 7400(present) and 8400(present).

AGCO/Massey Ferguson factories build tractors for Challenger Equipment, Iseki and Landini, with other modern MF models being badge-engineered tractors from other manufacturers, such as ARGO, TAFE, Carraro and Iseki.


Products by SeriesEdit

Main article: Massey Ferguson products by series


Main article: List of Massey Ferguson tractors

Crawler TractorsEdit

Main article: Massey Ferguson Crawler Tractors


Main article: List of Massey Ferguson Harvesters


Main article: Massey Ferguson Construction

Lawn & GardenEdit

Main article: Massey Ferguson Garden Tractors


Massey Ferguson is the most widely sold brand of agricultural machinery in the world. The brand and designs are or were licensed to a variety of companies around the world including:

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Massey Ferguson. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

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