John Deere

The history of John Deere started in 1837, when the blacksmith and inventor John Deere developed the first self-cleaning steel plough. In 1848 the head office moved from Grand Detour to Moline (Illinois). John Deere had different names, till it became the „Deere & Company“ public company in 1868. In the 1880s the first steam tractors appear on the market and John Deere produced plough blades for them.
In 1918 the company got into the tractor business by assuming the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. At this particular time the Ford Motor Company was leading in this division. In 1923 the first two-cylinders-tractor with the name John Deere was produced in Waterloo. The first diesel tractor left the factory in 1949.
Since 1956 the company got more and more an multinational producer. Factories and branches were opened in Mexico, Spain, France, Argentina and South Africa. In the course of this activities the German Heinrich Lanz AG in Mannheim got assumed, too. In 1959 John Deere produced the biggest tractor ever built. It had 215 hp and weighed about 10 t.
In 1963 John Deere surpassed its competitor IH and became the biggest producer of agricultural and industrial tractors. In 1972 the sales hit the mark of 1 milliard US-dollars. In 1979 it was already 5 milliards and 65.392 employees worked in the concern. In the 1980s the company lost money because of the recession, but John Deere was the only agricultural engineering producer who kept its independence.
In 1998 the concern reached a net profit of 1 milliard US-Dollar for the first time. After 2000 further branches were opened in India, Russia and China. In 2005 John Deere employed about 47.400 persons in 70 factories and 35 sales branches. Today in Germany about 5.310 employees are working for John Deere.

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