Editor's note: The following is Ag Equipment Intelligence's continuing coverage from Expointer 2017, one of Latin America’s largest ag equipment shows, held in early September in Brazil.

LS Tractor Looking to Expand into ‘Big Ag’ in Brazil

With an established presence in Brazil’s small tractor sector, LS Tractors is eyeing expansion into higher horsepower equipment. The tractor maker reportedly saw a 30% increase in sales (200 units) vs. the previous year during Expointer 2017. In Brazil, LS is headquartered and manufactures its equipment in Garuva, in the southern state of Santa Catarina. Previously, the company only offered tractors up to 100 horsepower in the country, but rolled out larger equipment, ranging from 100-150 horsepower at the show.

According to the company, after having success selling tractors to farmers producing minor crops for the last 4 years, it has caught the attention of larger farmers. During the first 6 months of 2017, the company sold 91% more units vs. the same period of 2016.

“Our sales strategy started out very focused in Rio Grande do Sul because they are the most capitalized small farmers in the country. Then we decided to invest in tractors with bigger engines to get the larger farmers,” explained Ricardo Killp, sales director for LS Tractor Brazil in an exclusive interview with Ag Equipment Intelligence.

The company says that as it grows its presence in Argentina, it plans to build a factory there. “Still, in Argentina it is hard to sell to the small farmers because they are less capitalized than in Brazil and the government does not subsidize them very much. Another thing is that large farmers are very traditional and want AGCO or John Deere. But the three new tractors introduced at Expointer 2017 will be a game-changer for Argentina,” says Gerardo Tisera, export manager for LS Mtron Brazil and Argentina.

Mahindra Unveils First Tractors Produced in Brazil

Indian tractor maker Mahindra launched its S series during Expointer 2017. The 8000 S (80 HP) and 9500 S (95 HP) are the first tractors developed and made in Brazil by Mahindra. The company’s Brazilian factory began production in October of 2016 in the city of Dois Irmãos, Rio Grande do Sul. The plant has capacity to produce 1,000 units per year, but the company aims to expand to 2,000 tractors by 2022.

“We have already confirmed our intention that we want to invest U.S.$70 million in the Brazilian unit and will need to build a new factory. Our intention is to continue to be in Rio Grande do Sul, but we are considering all states for the second factory. It can be an acquisition. Today, we have dealerships in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Minas Gerais, the largest markets for us,” said Jak Torreta Jr., general operations director for Mahindra in Brazil.

The Brazilian operations of Mahindra were designed to export to other Latin American countries like Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay and eventually, Mexico