IHC and McCormick-Deering: The Red Tractors of France

IHC had a proud history in France, dating back to Cyrus Hall McCormick's European tours in the 1850s.

| February 2014

  • This Farmall Cub was assembled in 1955 at the IH plant in Saint-Dizier, is badged CIMA, and uses a Solex carburetor, which gave it 1.25 more horsepower than the American version. The French Cub was built from 1955 to 1957, when it was replaced with the French Farmall Super Cub produced until 1964.
    Photo by Lee Klancher
  • "Red Tractors 1958-2013" (Octane Press, 2013) is author Lee Klancher's meticulously researched look at the history of International Harvester Company, a landmark American company that defined agricultural business for a century.
    Cover courtesy Octane Press

Red Tractors 1958-2013 (Octane Press, 2013) is an authoritative and unparalleled look at the tractors built by International Harvester Company and Case IH. Author Lee Klancher leads a research team that has collected more than 380 pages and 700 images, documenting these beloved machines built in America and abroad. In this multi-part series, Farm Collector shares the first chapter of Red Tractor, "1958-1959 The Hinsdale Connection". This excerpt comes from Jean Cointe, an expert in IHC’s entry into the French market, and the successes of McCormick-Deering.

You can purchase this book from the Farm Collector store: Red Tractors 1958-2013.

Cyrus Hall McCormick had a long history of traveling to Europe to demonstrate his company wares. He had great success in Paris at the 1855 Universal Exhibition, where he won a gold medal facing seven competitors in the Trappe farm field show. In 1867, the McCormick reaper won the grand prix of the Universal Exhibition. Later, the French awarded him the prestigious honors of chevalier (1868), then officer of the Légion d’honneur (1878).

McCormick constantly increased his company’s sales in France with the help of two French businessmen, Wallut and Faul. After International Harvester Company formed in 1902, the French branch known as Compagnie Internationale des Machines Agricoles (CIMA) was incorporated in 1906 and dedicated mainly to the Deering and Osborne brands. Wallut distributed IHC products under the McCormick name, while the Faul family company distributed the Deering brand until 1911.

In 1934, CIMA and Wallut merged, with the new company managing the entire business of IHC in France and continuing to operate two networks that sold Deering and McCormick products. In 1939, CIMA-WALLUT reached the top of the farm implement industry in France, employing more than 5,000 people. In 1948 CIMA-WALLUT merged with the McCormick and Deering networks and sold its products under the McCormick-Deering brand, dropping the WALLUT name.

In 1950, CIMA purchased a large farm implement factory at Saint-Dizier in the east of France. The facility was equipped and modernized, partly with U.S. dollars provided by the postwar Marshall Plan in 1949. Farmall C assembly started there in 1951, with all the components probably being shipped from the IHC Louisville Works.


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