Tractors for America

1960 1969 Valmet do Brasil

Nils Björklund, who had been appointed Vice General Manager of Valmet, was looking for new export territories.

He arranged successful deals with Brazil, and noticed that from the Brazilian point of view, Finland was an excellent business partner. This is because Finland purchased a lot of coffee from Brazil.

“I left for Brazil at the end of November 1958”, Mr Olavi Sipilä says. “Two tractors had been sent there for official trials at the Ipanema test farm. At that time we were only thinking of tractor exports.”

This enabled the export of 1250 Valmet 33 D tractors to Brazil during 1959 and 1960. Mr Sipilä and his colleague Eero Perälä discovered that the country was planning to start its own tractor industry. This would end established imports of the Finnish tractor and as import charges were high on imported spare parts, Messrs Sipilä and Perälä began to examine the possibilities for obtaining the most commonly needed spare parts locally.

”At the same time we accidentally came to examine the possibilities of starting our own production facilities”, Mr Sipilä says. “We worked day and night for three months and had our application ready by the end of January 1960.”

GEIA (Grupo Executivo da Indústria Automobilistica), the government unit co-ordinating the choice of tractor manufacturer, announced the companies selected in 1960. Out of 20 applicants, 10 plans were accepted. In its own semi-heavy class Valmet was valued highest. Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz and Fendt were among other accepted applicants.

Next, the company had to prove that its intentions were genuine. The setting up of the company was quickly dealt with by the senior management of Valmet. A company called Valmet do Brasil - Indústria e Commercio de Tratores S.A. – had been registered in São Paulo in January 1960. The factory was scheduled to manufacture 4000 tractors per year.

Mogi das Cruzes, situated 70 km from the centre of São Paulo towards Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the site of the factory. There a former textile factory was adapted and expanded into a tractor factory.