IT WILL quietly clock up its 40th anniversary in Australia, but machinery manufacturer Kubota does not intend to rest on its laurels.
A significant player in the sub-100 horsepower (HP) tractor category, where it has a 34 per cent market share, Kubota is now planning to broaden its product offering.
Senior product manager at Kubota Australia Konstantin Blersch said the company had moved into the medium-sized tractor sector with its M7 series of tractors, which extend to up to 175HP, while a range of acquisition mean the firm will also offer more in the farm implement space.
“We are targeting all uses in that medium tractor market, whether it be pastoralists or whether it be broadacre farmers with a need for a versatile second tractor,” Mr Blersch said.
“The bigger guys might use it with a spreader or with a spray unit or hay-making, while there are plenty of farmers for who a 175HP tractor is big enough to be their main piece of equipment.”
Mr Blersch said the push into higher HP tractors was part of a long-term strategy for Kubota Australia.
“It’s been something we’ve been planning for over nearly a decade and actively working on over the past five years.”
He said the tractors had been designed to be a European-style mid-range tractor.
“The key is the flexibility, the tractor itself is useless without the ability to be used with a number of implements, so that is what we are trying to provide, a real multi-purpose piece of machinery.”
In terms of implement offerings, in recent years, Kubota has purchased Norwegian implement makers Kverneland and American manufacturer Great Plains.
They also have a partnership with hay equipment giant Krone.
The Kverneland products will be rebranded as Kubota, while the Great Plains brand will remain.
“There will be a number of offerings in both the primary and secondary tillage space, along with other equipment, such as fertiliser spreaders,” Mr Blersch said.
He said the company was conscious of the growing interest in precision agriculture and would ensure its equipment could be fitted with whatever guidance technology farmers were using.
“It is an open platform, so if farmers are using Trimble, or Topcon or Ag Leader or whatever guidance system they have, it can be fitted to our equipment, we have an open platform.”
Mr Blersch said the company would not be taking on machinery giants such as John Deere or Case IH in the large broadacre tractor space as yet, but did not rule it out in the future.
“We would like to continue our gradual growth, we’ve increased our product offering from just the smaller tractors into the medium sized space and we’re working on getting that right, but then once that is done, who knows?”
“Kubota is a big company internationally with a massive and diverse range of product offerings, so you wouldn’t rule anything out.”