In its latest quarterly statement, the engine manufacturer, Deutz AG, has reported an increase in new orders of 56.5% to €485.2 million.

This is on the back of continued strong demand in all of the main market segments.

While sales of individual units jumped by 49.1% to 51,732 engines, revenue advanced by only 30.8% to €403.2 million.

The discrepancy between the two figures is accounted for by a sharp increase in sales of small, lower value engines which Deutz classifies as having a capacity of 4L or less.

In its agricultural range, these are typically three- or four-cylinder units up to 160hp.

Burgeoning sales

Looking back over the year to date, new orders received by Deutz amounted to €1.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2021, an increase of 62.2% compared with the prior-year period, which had been heavily affected by coronavirus.

The company believes that this growth is explained by customers across all application segments and regions still being willing to invest in machinery replacement.

small diesel engine up to 160hp
Engines of 4L displacement have seen the greatest increase in demand

Longer lead times caused by component and material shortages, as well as concerns over price rises, has also influenced buying patterns.

Orders brought forward and placed in June through to September, rather than later in the year, amounted to more than €100 million in extra sales.

Due to this perceived desire to secure supplies, orders on hand totalled €616.4 million, as at September 30, an impressive 146% increase on this time last year.

Overall, the Deutz Group registered an increase in unit sales of 34%. The number of Deutz diesel engines sold rose by 37.6% to 116,273.

Deutz also powers boats - by battery

Torqeedo, a subsidiary of the company, sold 29,086 electric boat drives which saw a similar increase in sales to the diesel engines.

Torqueedo boat drives
Torqueedo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutz, brings experience in electric drive to the parent company

Besides the upbeat results the company also reconfirmed its commitment to alternative fuels and powertrains.

Hydrogen-powered future

The pressure to reduce carbon emissions is now being brought to bear in off-highway situations, and the company is stepping up our focus on hydrogen, electric, and e-fuels.

In August, Deutz unveiled its first market-ready hydrogen engine. It plans to go into full production with the TCG 7.8 H2 in 2024. The first pilot project gets underway with German utility company RheinEnergie in early 2022.

This trial will involve using the TCG 7.8 H2 engine in combination with a generator to deliver a greenhouse gas (GHG)-free supply of energy into urban centres on a relatively small scale.

However, despite the limited size of the project, Deutz is looking to it to provide an insight of how a decentralised method of energy supply through the use of hydrogen may best be achieved.

With the growing interest in hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels in internal combustion engines, the results may well have implications on how tractors will be powered in the future.