Now you can find McCormick tractors at local equipment dealers instead of antique tractor shows. Vermeer Manufacturing dealers and other ag equipment retailers are selling 2002 models of four new McCormick tractor lines that range in size from 53 to 176 hp. The tractors feature a low-profile design, high-quality components and a bright red color.

The familiar McCormick name returns to the U.S. market as the result of a divestiture agreement made when Fiat purchased Case Corporation, merged it with New Holland, and formed CNH. Fiat was required to sell the McCormick name and Case's manufacturing plant in Doncaster, England. The Landini Corporation bought both and became the fourth largest tractor manufacturer in the world as a result. Last year, Landini created McCormick Tractors International and located it in Doncaster.

Both McCormick and Case brand tractors will be manufactured in the Doncaster plant until the end of 2002. After that, only the McCormick tractors will be made in the plant.

Vermeer alliance

The newly formed McCormick Tractors International sought a partner in the U.S. to sell and service its machines. According to Joe Michaels, McCormick general manager, the company chose Vermeer because of its strong dealer network, lack of a tractor line and heavy livestock focus.

“Vermeer is positioned well in livestock with its hay background,” Michaels explains. “However, we know not every Vermeer dealer is prepared to take on this level of commitment.” For that reason, Michaels also is recruiting other dealers that are familiar with the product line to sell McCormick.

The Vermeer operation in Pella, IA, will handle parts support and whole-goods logistics. McCormick will run marketing, sales and customer service.

How unique?

The big question from growers is how the McCormick lines differ from Case tractors. McCormick states that although the lines parallel current Case tractors, there are differences. For example, the 6-cyl. McCormick tractor features a Perkins engine, not a Cummins. And the 118- to 176-hp MTX tractors include a full Speed Sequencer transmission. The company promises the tractors will be unique to the McCormick line within a year.

The first four lines of McCormick tractors are the CX, C, MC and MTX series. In the spring, the company will introduce another line featuring 40- to 50-hp tractors. And next year, McCormick plans to round out its tractor selection on the high end with a series topping at 250 hp.

CX series

The CX series is designed for hay, row crops and front-end loader operations. Featuring a high-torque, 4-cyl., diesel Perkins engine, the tractors are available in 73, 84, 90 and 102 hp. A 4-wd front axle gives good ground clearance and high load capacity. A 2-wd option is available on most models. Suggested retail price range: $32,600 to $48,900.

The C-series is similar to the CX series, but pared down. Two models, a 70- and 100-hp, cost $24,400 to $37,700.

MC series

Calling it a compact workhorse, McCormick states the MC series is built for power, speed, rugged reliability and tight turns. The 4-wd tractors provide just 14.3- to 14.7-ft. turning radiuses. Turbocharged, 4-cyl., diesel Perkins engines power the tractors that come in 90, 102 and 115 hp. Retail price range: $54,400 to $66,000.

MTX series

Offering more power, the MTX series provides top operator ease and comfort, a smooth transmission, responsive hydraulics and top power, according to McCormick. Five 6-cyl. models, with 118, 132, 147, 163 and 176 hp, make up the MTX line. The 4-wd models are standard-equipped with turbocharged Perkins engines. Retail prices: $69,700 to $98,400.

For more information, contact McCormick, Dept. FIN, Box 81, Pella, IA 50219, 866/327-6733, www.mccormickusa.com or circle 216.