Massey Ferguson(R)

May 12, 2006 13:19 ET

Harry Ferguson's Pioneering Spirit Being Maintained Today by Massey Ferguson

COVENTRY, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - May 12, 2006) -

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A tractor that revolutionised world agriculture when it was launched 60 years ago came face to face today (Friday, 12 May) with one of its modern-day descendants.

The meeting of the Ferguson TE20 tractor - affectionately known as the "little grey Fergie" - and Massey Ferguson's current flagship MF 8480 tractor, took place outside London's Claridge's hotel following the re-creation of the famous staircase descent made within Claridge's some 60 years ago by inventor and engineer, Harry Ferguson, during an event staged to launch the TE20 tractor onto world markets.

Today, the man in the driving seat of the Ferguson TE20 tractor as it descended Claridge's stairs was Ferguson tractor enthusiast, Tim Joiner, who is also the Lord Mayor of Westminster.

It was Tim Joiner who gained Claridge's approval for a re-run of the event on behalf of Ferguson tractor enthusiasts' association, Friends of Ferguson Heritage.

"As 2006 marks the 60th anniversary of the production of the first Ferguson TE20 tractor in the United Kingdom, it seemed appropriate to celebrate the event by re-creating Harry Ferguson's famous staircase descent," explained Councillor Joiner.

The key to the global success of the Ferguson TE20 tractor was its unique implement attachment system which effectively turned the tractor and implement into a single working unit, replacing the previous cumbersome trailed method of implement operation.

Acclaimed as one of the most important engineering developments of the 20th century, the Ferguson System, as it was known, revolutionised agriculture, producing major advances in the efficiency of global food production. In doing so, it achieved Harry Ferguson's lifelong ambition of helping farmers affordably mechanise all aspects of crop production to better and more economically feed the world.

Although the last Ferguson TE20 tractor was produced in 1956, Harry Ferguson's spirit of innovation and engineering excellence lives on all modern tractors, including Massey Ferguson's current range of tractors and harvest machinery, proudly maintaining a 60-year pedigree.

That is why the giant MF 8480 was on the pavement outside Claridge's to acknowledge the importance of its pioneering ancestor.

Standing side by side, there appears to be a world of difference between the two tractors. Although Harry Ferguson would have recognised the three-point implement connection system used on the MF 8480, he would have been amazed at the MF 8480's maximum power output of 315hp - around 290 more horsepower than his TE20.

As a technological pioneer, Harry Ferguson would have been intrigued also by the MF 4840's electronic control, monitoring and recording systems that allow data from the tractor to be transferred to the office computer.

Speaking on behalf of Massey Ferguson at the Claridge's event, Jeremy Burgess commented that Harry Ferguson would have been proud that the spirit and principles for which he stood 60 years ago were still very much alive within Massey Ferguson today, continuing his vision of helping farmers the world over work more precisely, effectively and efficiently to produce food of the highest possible quality at the lowest possible price.

AGCO Corporation, headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, is a global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and related replacement parts. AGCO products are distributed in more than 140 countries. AGCO offers a full product line including tractors, combines, hay tools, sprayers, forage, tillage equipment and implements through more than 3,600 independent dealers and distributors around the world. AGCO products are distributed under the various well-known brand names AGCO®, Challenger®, Fendt®, Gleaner®, Hesston®, Massey Ferguson®, New Idea®, RoGato®r, Spra-Coupe®, Sunflower®, Terra-Gator®, Valtra®, and White™ Planters. AGCO provides retail financing through AGCO Finance. In 2005, AGCO had net sales of $5.4 billion.

Please visit our website at www.agcocorp.com. and www.masseyferguson.com.

Photos are available at the following address:

Photo: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/library/0512te20.jpg

Photo Caption: Harry Ferguson sitting on the Ferguson TE20 Tractor as it descends the stairs of London's Claridge's Hotel.

Photo: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/library/0512mf84.jpg

Photo Caption: Tim Joiner, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, on the MF 8480 Tractor outside London's Claridge's Hotel

Photo: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/library/0512t20s.jpg

Photo Caption: The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Tim Joiner in the driving seat of the Ferguson TE20 tractor as it descends the stairs of London's Claridge's Hotel in a re-enactment of the tractor's initial launch.

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