Indian manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has signed a deal with Turkish-based tractor maker Erkunt (which includes the ArmaTrac brand) to acquire the latter. Under the deal, Erkunt will become part of the wider M&M business.
How is this of relevance to Ireland? Along with units destined for Turkey, Erkunt manufactures a range of tractors for export – from around 55hp up to 110hp – under the ArmaTrac brand-name.
ArmaTrac tractors are starting to pop up here in Ireland in increasing numbers; Irish importer Brogan Tractor Sales – based in Cloghan, Co. Offaly – had a significant presence at last week’s National Ploughing Championships and the recent Tullamore Show, for example.
But who or what is Erkunt? Erkunt Tractor Industrial Inc was founded in 2003 – apparently as the first company in Turkey to design and manufacture its own tractors without the restrictions of being under the licence of an international automotive company.
The history of the wider Erkunt Group can be traced back to the 1950s.
The overall Turkish tractor market is large; annual sales have topped 70,000 units in recent times. Agriculture is a major source of national income in Turkey; over 30 different tractor brands compete in the market. Erkunt is among the larger players in Turkey.
Erkunt has been exporting tractors, to various countries around the globe, under the ArmaTrac brand-name for several years.
ArmaTrac tractors currently use major components from a range of suppliers, including Perkins engines (UK), Deutz engines (Germany) and ZF and Carraro licenced transmissions.
As part of the deal, M&M will also acquire a foundry business – Erkunt Sanayi AS. It makes engine blocks, cylinder heads and transmission cases for the likes of JCB, MAN, Ford and Deutz.
Who is M&M? It’s an Indian multi-national vehicle manufacturing corporation, which is headquartered in Mumbai. It is said to be one of the largest vehicle manufacturers – by production volume – in India and one of the largest manufacturers of tractors in the world (in terms of unit numbers – it makes a significant volume of small tractors).
It is part of Mahindra Group – a major Indian conglomerate.
Commenting on the Erkunt acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of 2017, M&M managing director Pawan Goenka said: “At Mahindra’s farm equipment sector, our strategy is to globalize aggressively and also expand our portfolio to include various new categories of tractors and farm machinery.
“Turkey is a very important market in our globalization journey and we wish to participate in its entire agri-mechanisation landscape. The acquisition of Erkunt will enable Mahindra to expand its footprint in the world’s fourth largest tractor market.”