Caterpillar, Inc., has signed an agreement transferring design, assembly and worldwide marketing of the new MT Series of Challenger high-tech farm tractors to AGCO, a Georgia-based agricultural equipment manufacturer and distributor.

“Caterpillar has a long history of designing and producing rugged, reliable agricultural machines, and this industry continues to represent an important growth opportunity for us,” said Robert Macier, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the company's Diversified Products Division.

“This agreement enables us to focus our efforts on those areas where we can add the highest value — engines, drive trains, electronics and technology development — while AGCO provides its expertise in the assembly and marketing of agricultural products. It also gives Caterpillar the opportunity to provide additional engines and other components to AGCO — one of the leading global suppliers of agricultural equipment.”

Caterpillar already is a major engine supplier to AGCO, one of the largest customers of Caterpillar's Perkins Engines division.

This new tractor technology gives AGCO a leading entry into high-technology farming and large-acreage farming markets.

AGCO will provide Caterpillar dealers with additional products that will broaden their equipment offerings and enhance their competitive positions.

AGCO is a multiple-brand producer with a full agricultural product line that AGCO sells throughout the world under brands that include Massey Ferguson, Hesston, Gleaner and Fendt.

Adding these Caterpillar machines to the brand line-up puts AGCO in position to respond to a growing need for high-horsepower track-type tractors that can maintain efficient traction under full loads.

Under the agreement, AGCO will immediately begin assembly of four models of the new MT700 Series of Challenger tractors. Caterpillar will be a long-term supplier of high-horsepower (220 to 500) diesel engines, drive trains, and other major components, including the patented Mobil-trac system of rubber tracks. The agreement includes future MT Series tractors.

AGCO will acquire the MT Series product design and will continue to market the tractors through Caterpillar dealers worldwide, as well as through a selected network of AGCO dealers. Caterpillar will provide technical support to AGCO on track technology and will maintain customer support services for all Challenger tractors produced before the sale of the MT Series to AGCO.