As part of its first quarter 2020 financial results announcement, CNH Industrial noted worldwide agriculture industry demand was significantly down. Global demand for tractors was down 15 per cent and combines down 11 per cent. The demand slowdown for tractors in the month of March alone was some 36 per cent.
In North America, tractor demand was down nine per cent in the quarter, primarily in the lower power segment (under 104kW/140hp), while combines were down 22 per cent. In Europe, tractor and combine markets were down 10 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, with tractors down 24 per cent in the month of March. South American tractor and combine markets decreased six per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. Across the rest of the world, demand decreased 17 per cent for tractors and two per cent for combines, with the tractor market slowdown reaching 43 per cent in the month of March.
The company said it was not possible to forecast future short and longer term demand in key markets given the current climate.
CNH Industrial began closing production facilities across Europe from March 11th, and in North America from March 30th. Parts depots, service facilities and dealerships were kept open so that customers could continue to safely operate their fleets of agricultural and construction machinery and commercial vehicles. This decision was taken in recognition of the vital nature to society of keeping vehicles working across sectors like agriculture, the transport of goods and people, fire fighting and those dedicated to public safety.
On April 27, the company began to restart some of its industrial facilities in Europe and by May 5th more than two thirds of the company’s 67 plants were operational, to varying degrees.
CNH Industrial said it planned to return to full operation at most sites by the end of May.