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Deere & Co. to invest in plant expansions

In a bid to meet demand for its tractors and other farm machinery units, Deere & Company recently announced the investment of nearly $180 million (US) to expand operations in the US and Brazil.


August 29, 2008
By Brandon Sun/Canadian Press

August 28, 2008

Moline, IL – Deere & Co. said Thursday it will invest nearly $180 million in U.S. and Brazil plant expansions to meet rising global demand for its tractors and other farm machinery.

The agricultural equipment maker said it will invest $97 million to expand high-horsepower tractor manufacturing capacity by about 40 percent in Waterloo, Iowa. The equipment is exported to more than 130 countries.


About 103,000 square feet will be added to the drive train operation and improvements will be made to Deere's foundry, engine and drive train operations.


Part of the investment also will be used for improvements at a plant in Coffeyville, Kan., where transmissions and other drive train components are built.


"John Deere is investing to help ensure that we have the manufacturing capacity to meet this demand for John Deere products," said David Everitt, president of the company's agricultural division in North America, Australia and Asia, and Global Tractor Sourcing.


The spending for the Iowa plant is the second announced by Deere this year. It said in February it will invest nearly $90 million to increase manufacturing capacity at Waterloo. The two projects are expected to be completed by early 2010.


Deere plans to invest about $80 million in agricultural manufacturing and parts distribution operations in Brazil. The increased spending is intended to boost manufacturing capacity for tractors and combines and improve service to customers.


The investments are at Deere's combine and planter factory in Horizontina, a tractor factory in Montenegro and to develop a new parts distribution centre in Campinas.


With the increased spending, manufacturing capacity will rise by about 35       percent at Deere's Horizontina and Montenegro factories, improve manufacturing flexibility and improve the factory layout and assembly lines, Deere said.


The work is expected to be substantially complete next year.


Shares of Deere rose $1.93, or 2.9 percent, to $69.89, in Thursday morning trade.