New Holland Tractors: A Brief History Of This Global Brand

Posted by Robert Piesz on

New Holland Tractors: A Brief History Of This Global Brand

As one of the biggest brands in today’s agricultural machinery sector, the New Holland traces its origins to the town of New Holland in the state of Pennsylvania, USA. Now marketed under CNH Industrial, currently headquartered in Turin, Italy, the New Holland brand has gone through various consolidations over the years to become a global leader in the production and marketing of a wide variety of agricultural machinery including, tractors, haying machinery, grape harvesters, balers and combined harvesters.

Read on below to learn more about the origins of the New Holland tractor brand.

The New Holland Machine Company

As previously stated above, the brand’s origins can be traced back to the town of New Holland, Pennsylvania. In 1895, a blacksmith shop was started by one Abram Zimmerman. At one point, he decided to increase his company’s product offering by selling stationary engines designed to power various farm machines, including animal feed mills. To respond to customer complaints regarding frozen engines, he decided to come up with a freeze-proof engine. This engine and the first self tying pick up baler were among the many innovations that the New Holland Machine Company came up with during its initial years of operation.

The Sperry Rand Corporation Acquired the New Holland Machine Company in 1947.

Leon Claeys

In 1906, in the Belgian town of Zedelgem, Leon Claeys started a manufacturing business focusing on the production of threshing machines. The machines built by the business were mainly designed to remove grain from pre-cut plants. It is also worth noting that the company also designed and built the first self propelled combined thresher in Europe. This machine, which was capable of cutting and threshing crops, came with its own engine. Cleays products were re-branded to Clayson after the initial company was acquired by the Sperry Rand Corporation in 1964.

Ford New Holland

Meanwhile, back in the US, in 1917, Henry Ford, produced the Model F, Fordson tractor. Later on, the company would continue to produce, in their US and UK factories, a variety of tractors under various names including Major and Dexta.

In 1986, the Sperry Brand Corporation decided to get out of the farm equipment manufacturing industry. Ford, which only manufactured tractors in their agricultural manufacturing operation decided to acquire the New Holland concern that was being sold off by the Sperry Brand Corporation. This added a long list of harvesting equipment to Ford’s agricultural machine manufacturing roster. The harvesting equipment retained its New Holland name, while the tractors were marketed under the Ford name. The new operation took the name Ford New Holland and operated under the Ford parent company.

N.H Goetech

Fiat, which was founded in Turin, Italy back in 1899, demonstrated its first tractor in 1918. The company had diversified into the manufacturing of tractors and other heavy vehicles, such as buses and trucks, after initially focusing on the production of cars. Fiat Trattori, Fiat’s agricultural division was renamed to Fiatagri in 1974 as the company went into the production of other agricultural machinery. This division was later merged with the company’s joint construction division to create Fiat Geotech which operated under the Fiat Group.

Ford decided to sell off Ford New Holland in 1990; and a year later, a deal was reached with Fiat Group. Fiat Geotech was to acquire Ford New Holland in the deal concluded in 1991, and a new business unit, N.H Geotech came into existence as a result. The products of the newly consolidated outfit were to be grouped together and marketed under the New Holland brand name and would retain the Fiatagri leaf logo, while the Fiat and Ford and any other brand names were to be phased out slowly.

After the acquisition of Kongskilde Industries by CNH in 2017, New Holland further expanded its list of products offered.

At present, New Holland, which is part of CNH Industries, is still charting the way forward with regard to introducing innovations in the field of agricultural equipment manufacturing. The brand is actively developing prototypes for hydrogen and methane powered tractors as part of its dedication to fight climate change; through the manufacture of tractors and other agricultural machinery that use clean energy. New Holland strives to play its role in the development of the energy neutral farm.

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