Where do we start talking about the new 175 to 210 horsepower tractor series just introduced by Versatile? Do we say these models expand Versatile’s full tractor line down into the mid-horsepower range, or do we first mention that that all indications are that these machines, dubbed the Nemesis Series, will also be available from your local Kubota dealer?
Yes. You read that right. Kubota will likely offer these tractors too, through a manufacturing partnership with Versatile. So while Versatile expands its tractor offering at the low end of its current horsepower range, Kubota boosts theirs at the top end.
The tractors are powered by Cummins Stage V compliant QSB 6.7L engines and route the power from them through a fully electronic powershift transmission supplied by ZF (a German company). When they begin arriving on dealers’ lots later this summer, the Nemesis tractors will available in three models with horsepower ratings that include 175, 195, and 210.
Versatile says it will expand the line in the future, pushing the horsepower in this line up to 250 and the bigger models will use ZF’s CVT transmission.
The Versatile Nemesis tractors will be available with a front-end loader that features a quick-detach system and is controlled by an electric joystick. When in use, the front-end loader functions are displayed on a 10-inch monitor.
The new styling of the Nemesis tractors will set the trend for updates to the other Versatile tractor models and equipment when they see updates in the future.
Currently Kubota’s M-7 tractors are the flagship line there, topping out at 170 horsepower, so the Nemesis tractors could take over precisely where the M-7s leave off. But until the orange brand holds its official product launch, it isn’t confirming anything about the specs or details of the tractors it and Versatile have entered into the OEM agreement for. But it has said that this kind of OEM partnership reduces the R&D time it would have taken to engineer, design and build comparable machines all on its own. As far as we know, Versatile doesn’t have any more tractors up its sleeve.
In recent years Kubota has been on a bit of a buying spree, having taken ownership of Norwegian brand Kverneland and Great Plains, the U.S.-based seeding equipment manufacturer. Those acquisitions have moved the Japanese brand significantly along on its declared path to become a full-line ag equipment manufacturer. The Versatile deal, however, is not a takeover, and remains simply an OEM manufacturing agreement.
Nemesis tractor production will begin this spring at Versatile’s Winnipeg plant, with the first public appearance of the Versatile tractors scheduled for July. Kubota plans to hold a launch sometime in the second half of 2019. It hasn’t yet revealed the exact date.