First European establishment in Bierne in 2015:
In April 2015 KUBOTA FARM MACHINERY EUROPE started tractor production in Bierne, the only tractor factory in Europe. The Japanese group had in fact made its decision to set up there official in 2013. This investment of more than 40 million euros required the recruitment of 160 people with the aim of eventually reaching a production capacity of 3,000 medium power tractors (between 130 and 170 hp). At the time, setting up in Bierne was KFME’s response to its desire to get into the European market. Even today, 40% of the site’s production is intended for Europe, 40% is exported to the USA and 20% to Asia and Australia. The factory currently employs 250 staff and has an annual production of 1,800 tractors.
A new investment consolidating the site:
KFME has just made an investment of 1.8 million euros in a welding line which includes, in particular, two welding robots and a filtration and extraction system for welding fumes. This new line will help it to assemble its tractor cabins on site as until now they had been imported “ready-made”, directly from Japan. “Importing tractor cabins brought with it a significant transportation cost”, comments Masahiko KOSHIDAKA, CEO of Kubota Farm Machinery Europe. “If they were already assembled, we could only fit 7 inside each container. As separate parts, as they will be from now on, we can fit 24. In addition to reducing costs, assembling the cabins on site will also help us to reduce our delivery times for our European customers. Our factory in Bierne has reached a level of industrial maturity and has know-how that enables us to go ahead with the expansion that we had envisaged when we set up the factory”.
Ten net jobs were created, half of which were filled by recruiting people from the company TIM who were then trained to do this new activity. The final tests are under way and production is due to start in June 2021. Kubota feels more strongly than ever about its ambition to become Europe’s leading tractor manufacturer in the field of arable farming and to offer a complete range of tractors for all types of agriculture.
Kubota Farm Machinery Europe, Associate member company of Dunkerque Promotion since 2016
“Since KFME set up, Dunkerque Promotion has been an invaluable partner. Whenever we have an administrative or legal problem, we turn to them and know that they’ll do their best to support us. Either because one of the project managers will know the answer, or because they will refer us to the person or organisation in the best position to sort out the issue. Their detailed knowledge of the territory and its companies is an undeniable asset. For example, when we had to start recruiting new employees following our investment, we spoke to Dunkerque Promotion who widely circulated our offer around their network. This meant we had no trouble in finding the people we needed”.