The Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers' (AEM) year-end report shows that 2017 was a strong year for U.S. retail sales of tractors less than 40 horsepower. Year-to-date sales were up 8.1% and sales in December were up 4.6% compared with December of last year.
Sales of tractors in the 40-100 horsepower range were mostly steady. December year-to-date retail sales were down 0.1% and December 2017 retail sales compared with December 2016 were down 2.0%
AEM Senior Vice President for Ag Services Curt Blades comments on the report:
“When we look at 2017 U.S. retail sales, especially from mid-year on, the bright spot continued to be the small-tractor sales under 40 horsepower with consistently positive numbers, while tractors 40-100 horsepower have essentially been flat.
“For the larger ag tractor sales (100+ horsepower 2WD), we saw some real softening at the beginning of the year, but some sizable reversals to end at a negative 8%, and 4WD drive tractors and combines ended on a positive note with modest gains.
“So, while the downturn of 2016 carried over into 2017, it began to reverse as the year progressed. With tax reform passed, we are cautiously optimistic for continued overall improvement in 2018.”
AEM United States Ag Tractor and Combine Report December 2017