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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
End of an era for Massey Ferguson
The Banners Lane production line
More than three million tractors were made in Coventry
The closure of Massey Ferguson's Banner Lane plant brings to an end 56 years of tractor production at the Coventry works.

The late Harry Ferguson moved into the premises - which once housed the Standard Motor Car Company - in 1946.

Banner Lane grew to become the world's largest factory devoted solely to the production of tractors.

In total, more than three million machines have rolled off the production line since 1946.

German roots

The famous company name came from a merger between Ferguson and the giant Canadian agricultural firm of Massey-Harris in 1953.

By 1962 it had become the world's best-selling tractor brand and sold more vehicles than any other company every year since.

Massey Ferguson's Coventry Plant
Banner Lane opened in 1946
It was previously a car plant
The first tractor produced there was called the Little Grey Fergie
It is the biggest tractor plant in the world
A Massey Ferguson tractor is sold every four minutes
The company sells to 140 countries
Massey Ferguson was taken over by American-based Agco in 1994.

The new parent was itself only four years old at the time and was formed through a series of acquisitions and mergers.

Its main European interests are based in Germany, where the company has its roots, and France.

Over the last two years, hundreds of jobs have been lost at Coventry but the announcement of the closure of Banner Lane came as a shock to unions.

For the city of Coventry, the news has come as a major blow, particularly following on from the spectacular fall of the telecommunications giant Marconi and the reduction of Rolls-Royce operations at the city's Ansty plant.


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See also:

25 Jun 02 | England
20 Oct 98 | Business
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