Sept. 22, 2021
Case IH traces its roots back to 1847. Over several decades many leading farm equipment brands consolidated to form the modern-day Case IH global brand.
The Case IH brand we know today is a product of several agriculture brands that evolved over time and eventually combined through various strategic business combinations. Today, Case IH is part of CNH Industrial. Case IH's farm equipment includes tractors, harvesting equipment, loaders and attachments, tillage, planters, seeders, applicators, balers, mowers, windrowers, wheel rakes, forage harvesters and more.
Case IH is mostly focused on agriculture equipment, while Case Construction Equipment is a related brand focused on construction equipment.
Case IH traces its roots back to 1842 when Jerome Increase Case founded the Racine Threshing Machine Works in Racine, Wisconsin. Farm machinery was still in its early days at that time, and J.I. Case was one of the first pioneers to produce mechanized farm equipment with his contemporary thresher that separated straw from the grain.
In 1869 when J.I. Case developed the first steam engine tractor, steam engines were the go-to solution for mechanical power. Locomotives and industrial engines all used steam power because coal and wood were abundant resources at the time.
The first tractor engines were powered by steam rather than diesel or gasoline. The steam engines were used primarily for powering other machines, and the first steam-powered tractors were unable to steer themselves. Horses were used for steering.
Case's first steam-powered tractor
The oil industry was not developed during the 19th century as we know it today. In fact, it was fairly common to get oil from whale blubber rather than drilling in the ground. Oil prices were very volatile and supply was never certain. These two factors limited the adoption of engines using oil derivatives (kerosene, gasoline, diesel, etc).
John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil realized that industries wanted stable prices and widespread availability. A good book on the history of Rockefeller and Standard Oil is Titan, by Ron Chernow.
Case built its first gasoline-powered tractor in 1892; however, the industry was not yet ready for the power source change. Case shelved its plans for almost two decades until the market was ready for it.
Case's first gasoline-powered tractor (1892)
Case IH's branding and logo have changed over time since the business combination was formed in 1902.
Source: CaseIH.com Notes: All logos are trademarks of Case IH and its former parent companies. The logo timeline above is for informational purposes only.
CNH Industrial was formally separated from Fiat in 2013 in a spin-off overseen by CEO Sergio Marchionne and the Agnelli family (from Italy, they are large stakeholders in Fiat and Ferrari). CNH's portfolio included Case IH, Case Construction, New Holland Agriculture, New Holland Construction, Iveco (trucks & bus), FPT Industrial (industrial engines) and the financing arm.
Fiat had become a giant company after it acquired the bankrupt Chrysler Corporation during the Financial Crisis. The CNH Industrial spin-off was meant to simplify the businesses by creating a separate automotive company (Fiat Chrysler Automotive) and a truck and off-highway industrial company (CNH Industrial).
CNH Industrial is a global company with its headquarters in Basildon, UK. It is controlled and mostly owned by the Italian investment company Exor, which in turn is controlled by the Italian Agnelli family. The legal headquarters are in Amsterdam, Netherland.
CNH Industrial has a network of more than 11,500 dealers and distributors in over 170 countries worldwide. Dealers are independent and not owned by CNH Industrial, except for a few dealerships in North America and Europe.
CNH Industrial's current CEO is Scott W. Wine (American) and the company employs more than 63,000 people in 67 manufacturing plants and 56 research and development centers.
Source: CNH Industrial
Notes: CNH Industrial serves multiple end markets (agriculture, construction, trucks, bus and military)
Related: Read more about where New Holland's tractors and combines are made
Despite the fact that CNH Industrial has many different brands under its corporate umbrella, the brands actually operate mostly independently with very low overlap. Most of the manufacturing plants are separate, and not all dealerships carry all brands. For fun, you can compare the CNH Industrial brands visually:
Sergio Marchionne did make an effort to achieve cost synergies by pushing for Case, Case IH, and New Holland to use common engines and components sourced from FPT Industrial.
Case IH is a global brand with manufacturing locations in North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Case IH's high-horsepower tractors are produced in Fargo, North Dakota (Steiger Series Tractor), Racine Wisconsin (Magnum Series Tractor) and Curitiba, Brazil (Magnum Series and Maxxum Series Tractors). Case IH Axial Flow Combines are produced in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Made in Fargo, North Dakota, US
Made in Racine, Wisconsin, US and Curitiba, Brazil
Made in Curitiba, Brazil
Made in Grand Island, Nebraska, US