AGCO is set to expand its Massey Ferguson Operations facility in Beauvais, France with the acquisition of 8ha of extra land and 30,000m2 of buildings adjacent to its main tractor manufacturing site in the city.
The move was announced by Thierry Lhotte, Massey Ferguson’s Vice-President and Managing Director Europe and Middle East in a keynote speech to the AGCO and MF workforce in France where he presented Massey Ferguson’s 5-year growth programme – MF Growing Together 5.
The Beauvais site is AGCO’s Centre of Excellence for Engineering and Manufacturing of Massey Ferguson tractors. The operation is the largest producer and exporter of farm machinery in France.
“This acquisition is the first substantiation of the announcement we made at the SIMA Show in Paris outlining our MF Growing Together 5 strategy – the most ambitious and game-changing transformation programme in the history of our iconic brand,” says Thierry Lhotte.
“With MF Growing Together 5, we are demonstrating that the brand is undergoing a major transformation and gaining strength. We seek to offer farm machines that provide the best value for money and return on investment for customers and deliver growth for the brand and our MF Dealer network.”
One of the six core game-changers of the new MF strategy is to develop and expand manufacturing excellence as part of the Industry 4.0 programme which incorporates all the latest thinking and trends in automation and data exchange across manufacturing technologies.
“This next step builds on the past seven years’ successes which have seen a complete transformation of our manufacturing facility and a boost in competitiveness. This has been achieved through the implementation of Lean Manufacturing techniques, the signing of flexibility agreements with workers’ unions and the inauguration of the new Beauvais 2 tractor cab-building facility in 2013,” continues Mr Lhotte.
Commenting, Boussad Bouaouli, AGCO Vice-President Manufacturing for the Beauvais site said: “For AGCO and Massey Ferguson, the path to growth includes the development and implementation of the most advanced technologies in support of the continuous improvement of our award-winning and benchmarked Lean Manufacturing techniques.”
“The latest land acquisition will allow a new project to be developed in the coming months aimed at improving the logistics and supply chain for the main Beauvais 1 site, while reintegrating in-house various parts and components’ storage currently outsourced to external partners,” Mr Bouaouli adds. “We are starting an exciting new journey for Massey Ferguson’s manufacturing operations here with this new ‘Beauvais 3’ project which comes just four years after our expansion with the Beauvais 2 cab facility.”
AGCO’s Beauvais operation, together with its GIMA joint venture transmission plant, employs around 2500 people, making AGCO the number one private employer in the Picardie region. “This project will generate new jobs and we are looking to recruit 100 employees over the next six months,” adds Thierry Lhotte. “This significant investment underpins our deep roots with the city of Beauvais and demonstrates the confidence of AGCO’s Global Senior Management and Board of Directors in the expertise and experience of the Beauvais site. The farm machinery market is challenging but our long-term view remains very optimistic for demand in the agricultural equipment industry. The new development is set to reinforce Massey Ferguson’s presence and competitiveness still further,” he remarks.