Valtra turns 70 in 2021 and is celebrating its anniversary in a variety of ways throughout the year. When the company started the focus was on the mechanisation of agriculture, but later on that focus shifted to improvements in working safety, to growing farms and the success of rural businesses.
Valtra’s technologies and services have always been up to the task of meeting its customers’ needs. But it’s in the past 10 years where the largest leaps have been taken. And in the coming years Valtra sees digitalisation and precision farming technology change the face of farming significantly.
“The advancements that began 70 years ago keep on going and accelerating,” managing director Jari Rautjärvi said. “Thanks to persistent product development work, our tractors have now reached their fifth generation.
“Our customers expect smart solutions from Valtra. We’re making big investments in our factory in Suolahti, Finland. The new logistics centre was just launched, and a new paint shop will begin construction this summer.”
Valtra, then known as Valmet, began series production of tractors in 1951 at Jyväskylä in Finland. The first model was the Valmet 15 that, as the name implies, had 15hp and was designed to replace a horse on a small farm.
From the very beginning, customer needs were highlighted and structural solutions were introduced for which Valtra is still known: the ground clearance was high enough for forestry work and the tractor was also ideal for road maintenance tasks. Later on, cabin ergonomics made it possible to work longer and safer working days, with increased operator space.
Valtra has always had a particularly close relationship with its customers. In the early 1990s, the customer order system was introduced. This meant that no tractor was manufactured at the factory for stock; instead, each tractor was built for a specific customer. Thanks to this pioneering customer order system, the tractor factory always had accurate information about customer needs.
A significant number of employees in product development and production come from a strong agricultural background and truly have a good understanding of the needs of farmer
Customer-centricity has always been the starting point for new product development. Customers were integral to how fourth generation tractors and the award-winning SmartTouch armrest were developed. Both the fourth generation machines and the easy-to-use SmartTouch have been bestsellers, collecting an incredible array of awards in the industry.
Today, Valtra’s customer focus can be seen in the wide range of accessories and options available, as well as in the Unlimited Studio, where one in three tractors produced at the Suolahti factory are now tailored to the customer’s exact specification. Custom-built Valtra solutions are used in a wide range of applications including farming, contracting, airport maintenance and even defence services.
The customer-centred approach can also be seen in the development of maintenance services and digital services such as Valtra Connect. The pace of development continues as rapidly as ever as Valtra strives to further improve services and tractors according to customer needs.
Valtra’s sales and service staff are working with new digital tools that enhance customer experience and with which dealers can now prevent tractor service needs, activate precision farming services remotely or configure a tractor with service and financing options tailored to the exact need of the farm.
The customer can also chose to activate additional features on their SmartTouch machine – the tractor’s specifications can be expanded and upgraded depending on the customer’s smart farming requirements.
The introduction of the new digital tools started at selected Valtra dealers in Germany, France and Great Britain in 2020, with development and implementation of the tools across Europe continuing this year.
To mark its 70th anniversary, Valtra will manufacture 70 specially equipped “Limited Redition” tractors. These anniversary models are available in the T Series (T174e to T254) and will be sold worldwide.
The specially equipped anniversary models feature a deep red metallic paint reminiscent of Valtra’s roots 70 years ago. The red colour is also highlighted in details of the tractor, including in the stitching of the leather interior and the interior light. The anniversary model has black rims and a stainless steel Limited Redition badge.