T 400 Buster BM-Volvo

1966 First BM-Volvo tractors made in Finland

Product history

1964 Valmet 565 – "Drive your tractor like your car"
1964 1 Read more

This was the headline on page 12 of the second issue of Volvo Viesti magazine in 1966 and it marked Volvo’s response to Valmet and Rosenlew, which had established the sales company Maskinköp AB in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1964. In Finland, Volvo had chosen Fiskars as its partner to assemble tractors from components sent from Eskilstuna, Sweden.

The article points out that AB Volvo purchased components from Finland. These included special steels from Imatra, springs from Fiskars, forged components from Tampella plus many other smaller parts for cars. Finland also provided AB Volvo with a substantial labour force for the car factory in Gothenburg and tractor factory in Eskilstuna.

Volvo chose Fiskars, which has a long history in Finnish industry, as the company wanted to bring their tractors closer to Finland. Fiskars had sufficient capacity in its Porvoo factory where assembly of the BM-Volvo T 400 Buster, the model considered most suitable for Finland was produced.

Plans were to manufacture over 300 Busters in 1966, increasing to 1500 units a year, numbers which would resulted in a market share in Finland of almost 15 percent. However, production of Busters in Porvoo is thought to have reached a total production of 600 units.

The T 400 Buster had tough competition in the form of the Valmet 565 which, at 1850 kg, weighed the same, had similar ground clearance, and featured an adjustable linkage with TerraTrol draft control.

Although the Valmet had 6+2R gears compared with the Buster’s 8+2R, some of the Valmet’s gears were synchronised. However, the biggest difference was in the engines with the Buster powered by a 2.5 litre 3-cylinder Perkins engine producing 47 horsepower, while the Valmet was powered by their own 310B engine producing 52 horsepower.

Although BM-Volvo’s tractor assembly operations in Finland lasted only a couple of years, it prepared the ground for the introduction of the first Volvo BM Valmet tractors in the early 1980s.

1966 VolvoBM2

Bror Wahlroos hands over the first tractors to the importer Lars Ljungberg on behalf of Fiskars.

BM-Volvo T 400 Buster

The first “Finnish” BM-Volvo Busters were manufactured in May 1966. The event was attended by dignitaries including, from left to right, Hans Perttula, Director of the Maatilahallitus agricultural agency, Bror Wahlroos, Deputy Managing Director of Fiskars, John Engellau, Managing Director of AB Volvo, and Lars Ljungberg, Managing Director of the Finnish importer Volvo-Auto.