Chinese 4-wheel tractors make inroads in South Asia

According to the 9th MechNet newsletter, published by National Agricultural and Environmental Forum( NAEF/N,Nepal), the very inexpensive Chinese 4-wheel tractors that are very popular in China, are beginning to make inroads in South Asia markets. These low HP (16-24), single cylinder diesel tractors, offered by many different Chinese manufacturers are able to slash cost as they use belt drive from engine to transmission to remove part of the gearing down associated with normal more expensive transmissions. It has reported that in India more than 20 importers have applied for various licenses for importing of Chinese 4-wheel tractors. In Nepal, two, two-wheel tractor importers have in the last year started selling these inexpensive belt drive type of tractors with some success.

Inexpensive 4-wheel tractors in India
Tractors have failed to make headway into the agricultural sector in India. The main reason is that the price for cheapest tractor available costs nearly Rs 2 lakh. In such a scenario, owing tractor there seems to be a ray of hope to farmers. A Delhi-based industrialist-exporter has provided the Indian farm sector a big boost: He is selling tractors at a price that is over 50 per cent less than the cheapest tractor available in the country. Mr Ravindra Kumar, managing director of the SAS Motors Limited is very confident that his venture will be a big success as the farmer needs a tractor that has lower horse power and lesser costs too. 

How has he made it possible for a tractor at this rate? Mr Kumar is importing 85 per cent of the components from China, and components are imported, assembled in India and rolled out. This explains the low cost of tractors and better still, costs may come down further once the production increases, by when the company plans to manufacture its own spare parts. "The modern trend is to outsource all components. We decided to import from China because it is the largest producer of tractors, it produces 100 times more than India. Moreover, China and India have similar conditions in terms of farms, affordability, vast and different geographical areas, terrain, varying soil conditions, remote rural areas etc. The task was to optimize technology for India," says Mr. Kumar.

SAS Motors has already started assembling centres. Tractors have started rolling out and SAS plans to bring out 10,000 tractors per month as compared to the 15-20,000 tractors by all the other manufacturers. The annual tractor production in India is around two lakh units and according to Mr R C Jain, president, Tractor Manufacturers Association, the industry has set a target of 2.3 lakh units this year as the sales went up by nine per cent last fiscal.

by courtesy of Dr.Scott Justice

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