New Holland Agriculture celebrates 50 years of operations in Antwerp
The Belgian Minister for Employment, Monica De Coninck, and the Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever visited New Holland Tractor in Antwerp today for a firsthand ‘Agriculture Experience’. New Holland Tractor Antwerp is a manufacturing facility that produces rear axles and transmissions for tractors from New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, which employs 3,769 people in Belgium.
New Holland Agriculture celebrated an important milestone in Belgium today, marking 50 years of operations at its Antwerp facility: New Holland Tractor.
Originally established in 1930 as a car assembly factory by Ford, the Antwerp site was transformed into a tractor plant in 1964 where it manufactured complete tractors. Since 1996, the site’s operational focus has been shifted to the production and assembly of rear axles and transmissions for New Holland tractors. At present, more than 100 drivelines are produced daily. These are then sent on to New Holland’s plant in Basildon (UK) to be installed into the finished tractors.
Monica De Coninck, the Belgian Minister for Employment, and Bart De Wever, the Mayor of Antwerp were the guests of honour for today’s celebrations. After an introductory session, the invitees were guided onto the shop floor where Minister De Coninck addressed the facility’s employees, congratulating New Holland Tractor on its Golden Jubilee. Following her speech, employees presented the Minister with a commemorative souvenir. Minister De Coninck and Mayor De Wever were later treated to a demonstration of the New Holland T6 and T7 tractors where both had the opportunity to test drive them.
“We at New Holland Tractor are very proud of this anniversary. This is, first and foremost, a celebration of our fantastic team of over 1,000 employees. The effort and know-how of our people, the innovation in both products and in processes and the desire to become even better, have made this plant what it is today. It was a pleasure to host Minister De Coninck and Mayor De Wever and to answer their many interesting questions on our operations,” said Plant Manager Luc Thysen on the anniversary and visit.
"The strength of a company like New Holland Tractor lies in the cooperation between the management and the employees to deliver top quality, as well as in the cooperation with the government and socioeconomic partners. The formation of employees, the quality of their work and their motivation can also make the difference. A clear company vision is essential to have everybody working together to reach the same goal and to reach the top. And this is what I can see happening here in Antwerp,” commented Minister De Coninck during her speech.
In his closing speech, Mayor De Wever emphasised the importance of New Holland’s industrial activity in the area: “New Holland Tractor and its predecessors have been a solid employer for more than 80 years in the harbour of Antwerp. We acknowledge the fact that they continue to invest in our city and region and offer employment opportunities to thousands of residents.”
The New Holland Tractor facility in Antwerp received a bronze award from the World Class Manufacturing program, an innovative methodology used throughout CNH Industrial which focuses on improving efficiency and productivity at manufacturing facilities.
Including Antwerp, New Holland Agriculture has two manufacturing facilities in Belgium, the other being in Zedelgem. The strength of the Zedelgem plant is the combination of expertise in design, development and manufacturing. In the last four years the product development and engineering workforce has almost doubled, making this facility the biggest R&D centre in Flanders.
The New Holland brand is number one in the sales of tractors, combine harvesters and big balers in Belgium and welcomed over 8,000 visitors to the Zedelgem plant and Customer Centre in 2013.
In addition to these manufacturing facilities, CNH Industrial also has a commercial office in Brussels for its truck and commercial vehicles brand Iveco and its bus and coach brand Iveco Bus. In total, the Group employs 3,769 people in Belgium.
Antwerp, April 22, 2014
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