Argo Tractors


Our History

Feb 15, a son is born to Robert McCormick and his wife (Mary Anne Hall), in Rockbridge County, Va. U.S.A. He was later christened Cyrus Hall McCormick, and was the eldest of the 8 McCormick children.

1831 1831
At the age of 22 young Cyrus takes over the design of his fathers unsuccessful reaper.
In a six week period he redesigned, built, tested and remodelled his design in the family smithy at Walnut Grove.
The Reaper is successfully demonstrated on a neighbours farm at Steeles Tavern in late July.
Cyrus carried out several changes to design before patenting the machine in 1834.
Earlier in June Cyrus had been granted a patent for a cast and wrought iron plough. "The Patent Hill Side Plow" enjoyed a good reputation in the valley of Virginia at the time.



1847 1847
Demand for McCormick's reaper became greater than the Walnut Grove smithy could produce.
Cyrus formed a partnership with C.M. Gray to purchase lots on the north bank of the Chicago river.
Immediately a factory is constructed to produce 500 reapers for the 1848 harvest (This site later became the corporate h/q for International harvester at Michigan Avenue).


McCormick reaper wins the "Grand Council Medal" at The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, London. Over the next several years McCormick's reaper won first awards at the Hamburg, Vienna and Paris Expositions.
Cyrus Hall McCormick was elected an officer of the French Legion of Honour and was made a member of the French Academy of Science.

1871 1871
Great Chicago fire destroys the McCormick reaper works, (but the company safe was retrieved with all records intact).
After insurance settlements the fire cost Cyrus a personal loss of $600,000.
In August 1872 ground was broken for a new factory which was completed in February 1873.


1884 1884
May 13, Cyrus Hall McCormick dies.
Cyrus is survived by his wife "Nettie Fowler McCormick" and his brother Leander (who joined him in partnership in 1856).
In the year of his death his company, the "McCormick Harvesting Machine Co" sold 54,841 machines, and introduced the McCormick steel twine binder, (previous m/c's having been of mainly wooden construction)
As well as being an inventor he is also widely regarded as being an innovator of good business practices, some of his innovations were :
Being the first manufacturer to offer a written warranty.
To provide training/education to customers on how to use his products and get the best from them.
To set on a sales force to canvass door to door.
Using advertising to expand his business.
Using collection agents to collect overdues.


McCormick Harvesting Co set up a general agency office in London.
In 1851 Cyrus Hall McCORMICK engaged the Essex Co of Burgess & Key to manufacture and sell his reaper in England from their Brentwood works. By 1859 Burgess and Key had made and sold about 2000 reapers. In 1880 McCORMICK terminated his agreement with Burgess & Key and appointed Lankester & Co of London as sales representatives for Great Britain, an arrangement which continued until the "McCORMICK HARVESTING MACHINE CO" established it's own office.


1902 1902
On August 12 1902 International Harvester Company was formed.
The companies that came together were:-
McCormick Harvesting Machine Co.
Deering Harvester Co.
Plano Harvester Co.
Milwaukee Harvester Co.
Warder, Bushnell & Glessner Co
The newly formed company was capitalised at $120 million.
Cyrus H. McCormick (Jnr) was named as President, and Charles Deering, Chairman of the board.

1903 1903
Harvester builds a plant at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
1905 Harvester builds its first plant in Europe at Norrkoping in Sweden to manufacture implements.


International Harvester Company of Great Britain Ltd, Inaugurated on 31st December , with offices at 115 Southwark Street, London.
In 1908 the office relocated to 80 Finsbury Pavement where it stayed until 1926.
The first British works were an assembly shop and warehouse at Old Ford on the river Lea in the east end of London, and within 3 years it was able to supply and service the full range of IH equipment.
Between 1906 and 1939 IHGB had no manufacturing plant in Britain, basing its business on importations from the parent American company and Affiliates in Canada and Europe.

International Harvester expand into Germany with the purchase of a site at Neuss on Rhine, near Dusseldorf.
Located between harbours 1 & 2 on the River Rhine the site was 1.6 million square feet, with 1.35 million square feet under cover.
Production of implements under the McCORMICK name starts in 1911 with typical products being, mowers,tedders,rakes and fertilizer distributors.
In 1912 the plant also started to produce binder twine.


1914 1914
International Harvester markets its first combined harvester thresher "combine".
This was a McCormick Deering No 1, which was a pull type, ground driven with a 35 5/8 inch wide cylinder and a 9 foot cut.


1928 1928
First combine appears in Britain, a McCormick Deering No 8 pull type, imported for trials on the Flasteadbury Estates Ltd in Hertfordshire.
The report issued following the test quoted "that it cut 53 acres of oats and 137 acres of wheat in a very satisfactory manner".


In 1936 International Harvester in USA decide to produce tractors in Germany.
On 15 march 1937 the first tractor of type F 12 rolls off the assembly line.
This was rated at 12 - 15 hp and between 1937 & 1940, 3973 units of the F 12 family were built..


1938 1938
Wheatley Hall site purchased from Doncaster Borough Council.
Warehouse building constructed on site by Sept 1939.
1940 Outbreak of war, factory requisitioned by ministry of supply to assist war effort.


1945 was the only year in its 60 year history (from 1937 to 1997) of tractor production that no tractors were produced. 

1946 1946
With the end of the war the Doncaster site is returned to IHGB. With the completion of the works implement and service parts production begins.
(In the photo opposite the camouflage paint on the roof can still be seen)
The range of products made consisted of:-
Greencrop loaders,
Pick-up balers,
Ploughs, toolbars & disc harrows,
Manure spreaders.
Products were marketed under the McCormick or McCormick International brands.
At Neuss, the Factory is rebuilt and they manage to produce 50 tractors


1949 1949
Farmall M s/no 1001 (No 1) was purchased by Mr Arthur Neale, who as well as being a Cambridgeshire Farmer, had been the Managing Director of IHGB for some 25 years, retiring in 1948.
It was under Arthur Neale's guidance that the site at Doncaster was purchased and tractor production commenced.
Later in 1957 when the Parts depot was constructed the road between the factory and parts depot was named Neale Road.


International Harvester France, through a holding company "Compagnie Industrielle de Machines Agricole" (CIMA) decide to build tractors and purchase a site at St Dizier in France.St Dizier is situated in the Haute-Marne province, 250km east of Paris. This is an historic region where the principle industry is foundries, and in fact the Statue of Liberty was cast only 8km away.

January sees the start of tractor production at St Dizier with the assembly of the Farmall model FC.
Mid-summer sees the start of production of McCormick International "BM" tractors now made from 100% British produced components.
Brooks McCormick (great grand nephew of Cyrus Hall McCormick) is named as Managing Director of IHGB on 1st August.
"Brooks" returned to the USA in 1954, and was appointed as C.E.O of international Harvester from 1971 to 1978. He was the last of the McCormick family to hold a senior position within Harvester.

1952 1952
Decision is made that IHGB should enter the construction equipment market.
Commence by building the BTD-6 crawler.
When production ceased in 1975, 22,300 of these units had been built.


1954 1954
As the mechanisation of world agriculture expands, there is a need to produce a new small tractor.
IHGB aquires the old "Jowett" car works at Idle, Bradford and commences production of the McCormick International B 250 tractor, rated at 30hp.
This was Britains first tractor incorporating "disc Brakes" and "differential locking"


1965 1965
In early 65 all "wheeled" farm tractor assembly was transferred to Carr Hill.
Component parts for McCormick International B-450 and B-614, were still made at Wheatley Hall Rd, and transferred daily by road.
First tractor off line was a McCormick International B-450 in May.
A 1700 Loadstar was the first lorry off line in September.


1968 1968
IHGB launches the McCormick International B-634 tractor.
This was Britains first tractor incorporating lower link torsion bar hydraulics.
It was also the last tractor produced in Britain to use McCormick as part of its brand name. Production ceased in 1972.
Decision is made to close the Liverpool facility at Orrell Park and transfer its work to the remaining GB plants.
The last tractor off the Neuss line to carry the "McCormick" name was a 624 in 1972.


IHGB commence building a new tractor series at Carr Hill. In October the first of the "World Wide" range rolls off the line.
The range initially comprised the 454 and the 574, but soon also contained 474,475 and 674 agricultural tractors and 2400 and 2500 industrial machines.
As well as syncromesh transmissions these tractors were Europe's first tractors offering the option of hydrostatic transmissions.


IHGB launch 84 series tractor range, features include flat deck cab and 4wd. Models comprise.

IHGB launches the 85 series, available with the new "XL" Cab or low profile "L" cab. Models comprise:

In late 1984 Tenneco owner of "Case" and "David Brown" brands declares its intention to purchase certain assets of International Harvesters Agricultural Division.
The deal is concluded in 1985 and Harvester is placed under the control of "Tenneco's" Case division.
All products from Case's agricultural division are rebranded "Case International". 85 series range continues in production until 1987.


Case International introduce the 95 Series tractors, Built at Doncaster.

New Doncaster built tractor range is introduced, The 3200/4200 series.
Comprises models with Low Profile (LP) or Deluxe Cab Versions in 2 & 4wd.
Tenneco (parent co of Case) float 56% of Case on New York stock exchange.


The new CX tractor series are introduced and built at Doncaster.
They are available with low profile or standard cabs as well as platform versions with or without ROPS.


Doncaster plant starts to build MAXXUM MXC models in February. This tractor comprises the MAXXUM transmission and hydraulics powered by the same series of 4cylinder engine used in the CX tractors.


Case seek a merger with New Holland, Shareholders agree and new company becomes Case New Holland Global N.V. (CNH)
E.U. regulatory authorities rubber stamp merger, providing that CNH divest themselves of the Doncaster Wheatley Hall Road plant and the 50 to 100hp C,CX and MXC tractors it produces along with the MX Maxxum production and engineering know how.


2000 2000
After negotiations with various interested parties, the plant is purchased by "ARGO S.p.a" of Italy and it is announced that the Doncaster plant will become the global headquarters for McCORMICK TRACTORS INTERNATIONAL LTD.
Products from Doncaster will be sold world wide under the McCORMICK brand name.
Other sister companies under the ARGO name are:-


In January the E.U. authorities give their approval to the deal and McCORMICK TRACTORS INTERNATIONAL LTD start trading.
Within days our first overseas distributor is signed up "Power Farming" of Morrinsville in New Zealand.


2002 2002
Negotiations continue between ARGO S.p.a. and CNH Global for the purchase of the CNH transmission facility at St DIZIER in France.
In April it is announced that CNH have sold St Dizier to ARGO, this now becomes McCORMICK France and the headquarters for operations in France.
The acquisition of St Dizier gives McCORMICK an operating base in France as well as control over the transmission build for now and the future.
With the acquisition the McCormick family grows to a total of 1100 people.


With an ever-increasing distributor and dealer network, McCormick is able to meet the needs of customers on a worldwide scale. McCormick's products, ranging from 23 to 280 hp, are distributed to over 55 countries.

2007 2007
Following a £7.5 million investment in new and upgraded production facilities, the ARGO Group begins to transfer production of McCormick tractors to factories in Italy, including a brand new plant built to produce the vineyard and orchard models. At the end of the year, the Doncaster plant produces its last tractor, a McCormick XTX215. 

2008 2008
With integration of the Doncaster product line into ARGO’s Fabbrico plant completed, full-scale production of the new McCormick XTX and TTX tractors gets underway alongside latest versions of the CX, MC and MC Power6 models. The first telescopic handler to carry the ‘McCormick’ name is introduced as the Tele-Trac with multi-purpose capability. 


2009 2009
Launch of the new T-Max tractor range. Restyling of MC, F, T and C-L tractor series.

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