Deere's Mannheim factory celebrates 50 years

JOHN DEERE’S Mannheim tractor factory in Germany celebrates its 50th anniversary in April 2010 as this celebrates the roll-out of the first green and yellow John Deere Lanz tractors from the assembly lines.

John Deere’s new 28hp 300 and 36hp 500 models not only replaced the outdated Lanz Bulldog, but also harked a new dawn from Deere as it sought to meet requirements of its European customers.

John Deere Werke Mannheim (JDWM) factory has assembled over 1.335 million machines since April 1960, including several thousand wheeled and crawler loaders up to 1983. Starting at just over 5,000 units per annum in the early 1960s, and driven by a high demand for mechanisation in agriculture, production at Mannheim rapidly increased to a peak of 41,000 units in 1977.

Tractor production at Mannheim decreased in the 1980s and early 1990s due to structural changes in both worldwide and European markets, reaching a low of 21,200 units in 1993. However, production reached an all-time high of 45,700 in 2008 thanks to large demands from Central and Eastern Europe.

Today’s lineup which comes out of the doors at Mannheim now covers 29 models with power ranges from 70 to 200hp - a stark contrast to the two models in 1960! From Mannheim, tractors make it to 80 countries worldwide, with around half sold in Western Europe.

Accounting for two-thirds of German tractor production in total, the Mannheim factory has been Germany’s largest manufacturer and exporter of agricultural tractors since 1972, and represents John Deere’s largest asset outside North America.

Since the 1960 introduction of the 300 and 500 models, John Deere has launched ten subsequent generations of tractors and within this time reports that its market share has grown to some 19 per cent for the Western Europe area, leading markets in Germany, UK, France, Spain and 10 other European countries.

A key design of John Deere’s Mannheim machines came with the modular steel frame design introduced on the 6000 Series models in 1992. This enabled customers to ‘custom design’ their tractors, and provided a new level of flexibility in the manufacturing process says Deere.

Today, the Mannheim factory’s flagship model is the 200hp 7530E Premium, a hybrid tractor which produces up to 20kW of electrical power, with a generator to supply components such as the cooling fan and the air brake and air conditioning compressors. This not only contributes to fuel savings of up to a claimed 13 per cent, but also provides the user with two electrical sockets of 230 and 400V for external tools.

Readers' comments (2)

Tell us your experiences of John Deere tractors since 1960. Any interesting stories on how you acquired your first Deere? Or email james.lane@ubm.com

  • I have a John Deere 1530 that was built in Mannheim, Germany in 1974. I find it to be very special because my ancestry is 100% German. We bought the tractor in 1997 from a J.D. dealer in Roosevelt, Utah. It was our first (real) tractor and has been a critical element in the construction of our retirement ranch here in N.W. Wyoming. I completed some transmission repairs on it several weeks ago, and decided to do a complete paint job along with any other repairs. My wife loves that tractor for dragging the fields in spring, and for me it's the perfect size for cutting hay. Could you give me a little history of the 1530, and do you know how many were built in Mannheim around that time.

    Thank You,
    Gene Seehafer
    Daniel, Wyoming

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  • Would there be any photos or brochures available on the range of Lanz Trailor and self propelled Combines.... 1952-58....my husbands father owned Lanz Combines and I understand Landz combines were very popular in Ireland in the 1950's

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