Several of the European nations involved in World War 1 began to see the value of using tractors to increase productivity in farms, In Italy the motor industry which was dominated by Fiat and in 1918 the Fiat company produced the Fiat 702 going into full mass production in 1919, Fiat soon became the major producer of agricultural tractors in Italy and added a crawler to its range in 1932.
This was the first tractor that could be considered and earthmoving machine, the 700C was a tractor equipped with a front blade to shift earth and welded devices to load trucks, it was powered by a 30 hp four cylinder engine, further models followed the 708C and the Model 40.
After World War 2 Fiat launched the Fiat 55, a crawler tractor powered by a 6.5 litre 396 cu.in four cylinder diesel engine that produced 55 HP at 1400 rpm. The tractor had five forward speeds and one reverse.
In 1962 Fiat created a joint venture with the Turkish company Koa Holding in Ankara, that was known as Turk Traktor. By 1966 Fiat had created its own Tractor and Earthmoving Machinery Division eventually creating a new plant in Lecce Italy called Fiat Macchine e Movimento Terra SpA. Very quickly the new company took over Simit the leading manufacturer of hydraulic excavators and then the company entered into a joint venture with the US tractor manufacturer Allis Chalmers to form Fiat Allis.
Fiat Trattori quickly became a shareholder of Laverda and in 1977 acquired Hesston as a way of gaining entry into the North American market, in addition they took over Agrifull which specialised in the production of small and medium sized tractors. In 1984, Fiat renamed the tractor company Fiatagri, by 1988 all Fiat-Allis (earthmoving) and Fiatagri (tractors) were merged to form Fiat Geotech and continued by acquisition to add Benati, Fiat-Hitachi and finally acquired Ford New Holland Inc the new company being renamed NH Geotech which became New Holland Inc in 1993.
In 1999, New Holland acquired Case Corporation who included the Austrian tractor manufacturer Steyr to create CNH Global. CNH has in effect two brand families Case and New Holland, in the Agricultural sector You have Case IH Agriculture( including Steyr Tractor in Austria) and New Holland Agriculture and then you have in the construction sector Case Construction and New Holland construction.
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