Buhler Industries Inc. commemorated the production of the 50,000th articulated 4WD tractor produced at its facility at 1260 Clarence Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Buhler Versatile model 2375 rolled off the assembly line at 1 PM CST on Tuesday, October 23, 2007. The Fort Garry plant started tractor production in 1966 and has been building articulated 4WD tractors in the facility ever since.
“This is a good time to pause and understand the magnitude of this milestone,” said Dr. Ossama AbouZeid, President and Chief Financial Officer of Buhler Industries Inc. “This factory has been consistently building 4WD tractors for more than 40 years and this 50,000th tractor built here represents a rich history of tractor production.”
The 50,000th Versatile-built 4WD has been purchased by Canagro Exports Inc., a Buhler Versatile dealer from Winkler, MB and it will be exported to Russia. Sheila Kehler, Melissa Kehler and Richard Falk of Canagro were on hand to accept the keys to this historic tractor, which is the first of 300 to feature a decal commemorating the 50,000th Versatile-built 4WD.
All current Buhler Versatile staff were invited to sign the side panels of the tractor. Five current long-term employees who have been working for Versatile during the production of more than 45,000 of the 50,000 tractors, participated in the ceremony as the assembly of the tractor was completed.
The first articulated Versatile 4WD was produced in 1966 to meet the demand for growing farms in Canada and the United States. The first Versatile 4WD’s, the D100 and G100, had 100 horsepower at the drawbar, no cab, and sold for less than $10,000.
The Versatile factory produced red 4WD tractors under the Versatile brand name until 1987 when the company was purchased by Ford New Holland. Ford Versatile tractors were produced with Ford’s blue-and-white paint scheme followed by New Holland’s blue paint scheme until 2000 when the factory changed hands again, this time becoming a division of Buhler Industries Inc. This also marked the return to red paint; tractor production has continued, and Buhler Versatile has since introduced a new series of articulated 4WD tractors, the High Horsepower Tractor Series, available with 435, 485 or 535 horsepower.
“Over the years, many companies have entered and exited the articulated 4WD market with only a handful of companies worldwide producing these tractors today. Versatile has a reputation for quality, reliability and value,” stated AbouZeid. “Today we also express our sincerest thanks to our dealers and customers that are loyal to Versatile tractors that are built here. We have some exciting developments and the future is bright for the company and for the future of articulated 4WD tractors.”
Buhler Versatile is a division of Buhler Industries Inc. (TSX: BUI) that designs, manufactures and distributes agricultural equipment. The products are marketed under the Buhler® brand name, including the Farm King®, Allied®, Inland® and Versatile® product lines. Buhler Industries Inc. operates ten modern manufacturing and eight distribution centers totaling over 1.6 million square feet of facilities in Canada and the United States and employs more than 800 people. For more information visit www.buhler.com.
Ossama A. Abouzeid, Ph.D.,
MBA President and CFO
Phone: (204) 654-5710
Trading symbol: BUI