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At the opposite end of the ‘size spectrum’ Massey Ferguson’s largest ever combine was launched, the MF 7200 Cerea, and the MF 8780 rotary combine joined Massey Ferguson’s harvesting line-up.
During the same year the first MF tractors were sold in Uzbekistan to aid cotton cultivation, and also in 2000 an MF 4245 tractor travelled the length of Britain (1900 km) powered by waste cooking oil!
In 2001 a new series of specialist tractors was launched for narrow-width applications such as vineyards and orchards - the MF 3300 Series. The new MF 4300 Series of tractors was launched during the same year, from 53-115hp. The MF 7274 was added to the Cerea combine range, and more features were made available on the MF 6200 and MF 8200 ranges, including Quadlink suspension and Autodrive.
To celebrate Massey Ferguson’s 40 years of leadership in Brazil, an MF 290 was delivered to Brazilian football legend Pele for use on his farm. Also, funded by the World Bank, 120 MF 240 tractors were distributed to farmers whose livelihoods had been destroyed by the war in Kosovo.
A new range of compact agricultural tractors was also launched this year, the MF 1300 series, and in Australia and New Zealand the MF 400 Series was released.
Two further models were added to the Cerea combine range in ‘02, and MF 160 round balers joined the harvesting range.
Two MF 8280 combines working with reversible ploughs broke records this year after ploughing 251 ha in 24 hours non-stop, beating the old record by 40 ha.
Sadly after 56 years of manufacturing tractors, Massey Ferguson’s Banner Lane factory in Coventry saw its final tractor roll off the production line. The MF 4345 was the 3,307,996th tractor to be produced there, and is now displayed at Coventry’s transport museum.
2003 saw more than 45 new models launched under the Triple Triangle brand.
At the Canoas factory in Brazil, the MF 400, MF 600 and MF 5300 Series tractors were unveiled for world markets.
The MF 6400 and MF 7400 Series of tractors were launched this year, featuring Dyna-VT transmission, and MF 555 planters were announced.
Several new Massey Ferguson products were released in 2004, including the MF 5400 Series, MF 2400 Series compact tractors, MF 3400 Series, and four new models for the MF 6400 Series.
Later in the year the MF 3400 crawler range and MF 2400 utility tractors were introduced, and the MF 8400 Series was unveiled as MF’s new flagship tractor range.
New standards were set by Massey Ferguson this year, when noise levels in tractor cabs were reduced to 71 dB(A).
Massey Ferguson’s growing harvesting range saw the addition of Activa and Beta combines in ’04 as well as the new MF 186 rectangular baler. This year, 15 Cerea combines were put through their paces in a Polish field to combine a giant Massey Ferguson logo.
The mid 00s saw more models added to Massey Ferguson’s ever growing product range, and more awards presented to them.
In 2005 the MF 8947 telescopic handler and the MF 900 loader were introduced.
The MF 8480 won the award for European tractor of the Year, the MF 3400 Series won Specialist Tractor of the Year, and the MF 7400 Dyna-VT won Machine of the Year.
The TE20 was elected top tractor in an on-line poll to find Massey Ferguson’s best-loved heritage tractor.
During this year, all MF 6400 and MF 7400 ranges gained Datatronic III and a GTA console colour terminal, enabling tractors to link to farm office computers.
The following year in 2006, more new tractor features became available. Dyna-4 plus was offered on the MF 5470 tractor, and Dyna-6 transmission became an option on top end MF 6400 & MF 7400 ranges.
A new series of compact tractors, the MF 1500 Series was launched in 2006,the MF 167 & 163FLR round balers were introduced, the MF 4400 range was offered with platform versions and Massey Ferguson’s Randers plant in Denmark increased combine production by 40% to meet demand.
In October 2006, AGCO’s new European Operations Centre was opened at Abbey Park, Stoneleigh by HRH, The Princess Royal.
In 2007, the new MF 2100 Series of large square balers was previewed at the SIMA show, the MF 3600 Series of multi-purpose tractors was launched, as well as five new models for the MF 5400 Series.
Power Shuttle became an option on MF 1500 and MF 3400 models, while MF 8400 Series tractors were available with factory fit Auto Guide.
In 2007 Massey Ferguson’s 400 Series tractors became Africa’s top seller, and the 50,000th tractor was built at the Beauvais plant in France.
2008 brings us to the present day, 50 years on from when the first machine bearing the triple triangle was produced. Half a century on, Massey Ferguson boasts 85 tractor models in the current range with 5 million customers worldwide. So far 2008 has seen the release of the MF 3600 Series specialist tractors, Activa S and Centora combines.
In May celebrations took place in France for distributors and dealers from 65 countries, and 2009 harvesting and flagship tractor developments were unveiled. Massey Ferguson’s new promotional style was revealed at the event, launching eight ‘Power Words’ that sum up the brand – Vision, Innovation, Leadership, Quality, Reliability, Support, Pride and Commitment.
In September this year, the new MF 8690 tractor was launched Innovagri in France, and in November, Massey Ferguson’s new Technology Centre will open in Beauvais.
Massey Ferguson has further product launches planned for 2009, all set to push the boundaries of technology and maintain our commitment to our customers.
One vision for the future is the Autonomous vehicle concept, developed as part of the EU’s FutureFarm project to try and “meet the challenges of the farm of tomorrow”. The ten-wheel vehicle – probably about the size of a mini tractor - includes a power train and a collecting box for horticultural crops. At the front, light sensors test for ripeness of crop and a knife underneath is ready to cut once it receives the correct signal.
Although currently only a concept, considerable advances in technology could make such innovations a reality sooner than you expect.
The future of agricultural machinery is bright. Every day our designers and engineers are generating fresh ideas to ensure that the Massey Ferguson brand builds on its reliable, high-quality reputation, and continues to inspire for the next 50 years!