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Kubota Manufacturing Locations

Tags :  kubota  | 

Neil from Messick’s here responding to a viewer question today. Recently in the comments, somebody threw out if we could do a little bit of a walk around out here showing what Kubota models are made in the USA. It's a surprising amount of equipment actually that Kubota builds here in the US at a number of different production facilities that they have. Today we're going to walk around a little bit. We're going to look at some of those labels on the side. We're going to talk about some of these different buildings and exactly what it means to be made in the USA.
We're going to start with the BX series tractors that we're standing by here. Now these are built in two different facilities. The tractor here in the center is made a Kubota Manufacturing of America in Jefferson, Georgia. This is Kubota's largest manufacturing plant and employs somewhere between about 2,500 to 3,000 people. Been there before, it's a very large place.
The loader and the backhoe though, come out of a different building. These come out of Kubota Industrial Equipment, KIE, that employs several hundred more people. They're not building so much industrial equipment as it's named. As far as what I see, this tends to function more as an implement facility and a little bit of final assembly on some construction equipment, but that kind of stuff is moving around.
This machine is mostly domestically made, the loader and the backhoe entirely so, the central tractor, mostly. We always got to qualify when you hear that something is made in America. For tractor companies, in a lot of cases, they're going to simply bolt tires on here and tell you that something is made in the USA or at their production facility and such and so place.
I've been to this place before and while you're going to see engines and transmissions coming in from Japan, the rest of this machine is actually built there. You're going to see frames welded and painted and sheet metal stamped, things bolted together from their individual pieces, not simply tires bolted onto a machine as is very common in this business.
Now, if you haven't noticed, there's been a bit of a supply shortage in the tractor business for going on two years now probably. One of the ways the Kubota is starting to handle this is spinning up production of BX series tractors in other factories. Some of the BX series tractors, specifically the 1880 and the 2680 are now just starting up production in Osaka, Japan. These couple right here that don't have mower decks bound underneath of them, they're set up this way because they've come in from that factory.
To my eye, I don't see any differences between the product based upon the factory that it's being built in, but BX is now for the very first time that I've seen can possibly come in from Japan for an 1880 or a 2680 model. And really that is intended to help catch up a little bit and get more inventory back in our lots.
Now, you might think that the equipment that's built here in US is limited to just the smallest models, but that's not actually the case. This SSV65 here is built in Jefferson, Georgia. Been through the factory some years ago when they were first setting it up. Obviously, engines come in created from Japan. The cab capsule was being shipped in from elsewhere, but the rest of the machine was being built there in the factory and rolled down the assembly line. Now interestingly enough, the SSV65 is built in that facility, the SSV75 comes in from Japan. Two kind of brother-sister models, but happen to be made in completely different places.
One thing that's very different about Kubota compared to a lot of other companies in this business is how much outsourcing they do. There are some products that come from other manufacturers, but not nearly to the degree of what's common among other tractor manufacturers. It is extremely common to have a sticker on the side of a machine or an attachment and the company whose sticker is on there has had very little to do in its development. That is different though for Kubota. They're going to performance match a lot of these implements to their tractors and build them themselves.
For the most part, loaders and backhoes all come out of that KMA or KIE facility out of Georgia. Exceptions there would be the big ones from say the M7 and M8 tractors that are going to run ALO loaders. That is very common across the industry, but your smaller equipment all is going to use things built in Georgia.
Back in 2007, Kubota entered into negotiations with Land Pride in order to purchase that company and today they use them as their primary implement supplier for their tractors. Again, when we look at a lot of the stickering that happens. If you're buying tractors that are green or just about any other color, many of those implements going on the back of those machines are simply stickered with the vendor's name and not made in a facility that they own. Kubota fully owns Land Pride. Now, they didn't change the name and put Kubota on the side of the implements, but my goodness, you can see how much stuff tends to ship out. They're in orange now.
Land Pride is a really cool company for a number of reasons. Before Kubota owned them, they invested heavily in domestic production. They have, I believe it's 13 factories up and down through Kansas. I think the coolest thing about those factories and that domestic manufacturing is that in a lot of cases they're small factories in small rural towns, which are really the foundation of employment in that area. It's cool to see a company sticking it out in that small town rural manufacturing type setting in the way that Land Pride has. That is an investment, not just in domestic production, but in domestic livelihood and the lifestyles and opportunities that you like to see people have.
All of the series of Kubota zero turn mowers from the small Z200s up to the big heavy ZD mowers are all made in Georgia. They're made here for our domestic markets, but in many cases too, these are exported to other countries. Australia and Europe I believe, if you are seeing zero turn mowers from Kubota, they're coming out of the American factory in Georgia.
These white crates here fit into our conversation too. Now I've done a lot of hating on stickering of other people's stuff and this is exactly what's happening here. These white crates here are snow equipment, so front plows, front snow blowers, all those things, are made in Canada, made in North America by a different company. The company's name is RAD Technologies. RAD is the primary supplier of front attachments to most every tractor company in this business.
Now, I believe Kubota is their largest OEM and there's actually been some cases where we've been seeing Kubota stuff coming out at a better price point because of the better volume that they buy from RAD compared to the other companies that are also using their front attachments. If you're going through and looking at a tractor, make sure you're pricing out that whole deal. The front attachments are costly in a lot of cases and can play into that bottom line number. I think you're usually going to save some bucks when you're buying the orange version of that same attachment.
The announcements of new production facilities continue to roll out. One of those is a 750,000 square foot facility going up in Salina, Kansas. It’s going to work on construction equipment, specifically some SVL track loaders and some excavators. That's not up and running yet. We're not seeing deliveries out of that facility, but before too long, we're going to start seeing some domestic production of the rest of the construction equipment line.
This is an SCL stand-on compact track loader. This one's a funny combination of engineering and development. This was actually made in conjunction with Kubota Japan and Land Pride working together and is manufactured here domestically in a Land Pride ran and managed facility.
Finally, the RTV utility vehicles. These have been built at the facility in Georgia since their introduction. This is another piece that I was able to see some production of at one point, seeing chassis painted and real machines built. At that point, probably a decade ago, one of these rolled off the end of the production line every three minutes. I know additional investments are being made in the facilities that build these machines in order to help meet the unbelievable demand that is out there for these utility vehicles right now.
It is really interesting to me how American this Japanese company can be, in many cases, more American than many American companies sometimes, which I think is pretty cool. There is no doubt there's a lot of Japanese DNA woven throughout these companies. I get a lot of chance to interact with a lot of those people. It is very cool and you can see their heritage and influence on the way that this company is run. It is a really impressive organization and very cool to see the continual investments that are being made in the US market.
Whether it's additional facilities going up in Georgia or Kansas, manufacturing is being ramped up in a lot of different areas in order to meet the demand that we can't meet today and hopefully demand that we're going to see here in the future. If you're shopping for a piece of equipment and we can help, or if you have parts or service needs for a machine you've already got, give us a call at Messick’s. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at

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