There is a serious new player in the global farm machinery industry, if indications from November’s EIMA, the biennial Italian international farm machinery show, are anything to go by. Following a fairly low key unveiling at last year’s Agritechnica in Germany, the new Chinese-Italian Lovol Arbos operation had a significant presence in Bologna, displaying not only its previously-shown mainstream tractor models, but compact tractors, precision seeders, cultivator drills, fertiliser spreaders and much more.
Founded and funded by the Chinese Lovol Heavy Industry group, the Arbos brand reappeared last year more than two decades after it was previously seen on a range of Italian-built combines. Lovol acquired the branding of the defunct firm that made those machines, and is using it to develop a new line of farm equipment to be sold in Italy, in China, and beyond. Prototypes of tractors spanning 100-260hp were shown at Agritechnica 2015, and the smaller models, the 100-130hp four-cylinder 5000 series, are now in production, with the first units being shipped in March. They are being produced both in China for the Chinese and Far Eastern markets, and in Italy for Europe. Lovol has recently acquired the business of Italian compact tractor specialist Goldoni, and while continuing to manufacture the latter’s tractors at the Modena plant it also acquired, is also now producing Arbos 5000 models there. While the 5000 range is powered by Kohler engines, larger 140-200hp 6000 and 220-260hp 7000 series tractors will feature Deutz engines, but these are still at the prototype stage and a production date is yet to be confirmed, although sources suggest a launch is likely within three years. Goldoni compact tractors continue to be manufactured, both in Goldoni and Arbos livery.
Arbos has plans to design and build its own combine range, but details of this remain scarce for now. However, the new firm is already extending its activities into implement areas, with a number of machines on display at EIMA in the Arbos green-and-white livery. The majority of these have come about through the purchase by Lovol of another Italian firm, Matermacc. Best known as a precision drill specialist, it also produces conventional air drills, twin-disc fertiliser spreaders and a line of sprayers, and re-liveried versions of these were on the Arbos stand.
The new operation is being managed from Europe by an experienced team of mainly Italian management, headed by CEO Andrea Bedosti, who has served spells in senior management with firms including Same Deutz-Fahr, Landini/McCormick parent ARGO, Merlo and Volvo Trucks. With tractors now coming off the line and an Italian dealer network appointed – plus tractors being produced in China for that market – one of the next areas of focus is creating subsidiaries or appointing importers for other European countries, and in turn creating dealer networks for those countries, he says.
“We will be able to offer a full line of tractors from compacts to 260hp, and have plans for not only the sprayers, fertiliser spreaders and drills we have how here, but also ploughs, power harrows and cultivators, plus precision farming equipment – and of course the combine range we have in development.”Google+