Several media outlets are reporting that YTO – the Chinese tractor manufacturer – is to cease production of transmissions and gearboxes at its plant in Saint-Dizier, France, in early 2019.

The development is expected to take effect from March of next year.

Over 100 people currently work at the factory – producing gearboxes and other components for YTO tractors. These components will instead – apparently – be produced in China.

The Saint-Dizier factory was originally established by International Harvester (IH) in 1949/1950. At that time, entire tractors were built there. At its height (circa 1980), there were as many as 5,000 employees on-site.

The facility came under the Case IH banner in the mid-1980s, following the fusion of Case and IH.

In 1999, following the coming together of Case IH and New Holland, the facility became part of the CNH empire. Two years later, in 2001, ownership of the factory passed to Argo Tractors (and specifically the McCormick tractor brand).

YTO France SAS was founded in 2011; this saw the Saint-Dizier facility change hands again – becoming part of the wider Chinese entity’s empire.

Who Or What Is YTO?

YTO Group Corporation is actually the holding company of ‘First Tractor Co‘ – the entity that manufactures a wide array of tractors (including crawler/tracked models), diesel engines and materials handling equipment (including loading shovels).

‘First Tractor Co’ – formerly known as ‘First Tractor Works of China’ – was founded in 1955. In 1997, YTO Group Corporation established the ‘First Tractor Co’ name, after restructuring the business.

Interestingly, YTO Group Corporation’s parent company is China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH).

The ‘DFH’ trademark is typically used in China; the ‘YTO’ brand is known in export markets (such as Europe).

‘First Tractor Co‘ has umpteen production lines. It has four specialised tractor assembly plants.

It sells its wares to a growing list of export markets; it claims to have products working in over 140 countries and regions dotted all around the globe.