Zetor (since January 1, 2007, officially Zetor Tractors a.s.) is a brand of tractors, trademark and Czech manufacturer based in Brno Líšeň. Since June 29, 2002, the only shareholder is a Slovak Company HTC Holding, a. s. The Company manufactures farming tractors and tractor components (engines, transmissions, etc.). Currently, Zetor portfolio includes four model ranges with power from 60 to 170 hp. In the 70-year-long history, Zetor has sold over 1.3 million tractors. The current number of members of staff is 700.
The first buildings in the Zetor premises originated during World War II, so called in a “greenfield”. At that time, the plant was called “Flugmotorenwerke Ostmark GmbH Wien, Zweigwerk”; it produced aircraft engines for Nazi Germany. After the war, it became part of Brno Arms Factory called Zbrojovka. The name Zetor, which was later to become the name of the brand and which was used by the state Company to mark the tractors, was created by Rostislav Sapák, a member of the Economic Department, in spring 1946. The name is formed of the syllable Zet (the spelling of the letter Z in the alphabet, the first letter of the name of the Arms Factory “Zbrojovka”) and the suffix –or from the word tractor (or, respectively, from the word farming tractor, in Czech “ZEmědělský traktOR”). Other cryptonyms for the name are also possible. In 1952, ZETOR moved to a new address in Brno, to the part of Brno called Líšeň, where tractors have been produced until today.
Zetor is the world’s first manufacturers to develop and launch production of safety cabin.
Abroad, Zetor is represented through seven affiliations in North America, the UK, France, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and India. Over the five past years, the export of the Company has reached 85-90 % of total production.
In 2015, 86% of total production of ZETOR TRACTORS a.s. headed to foreign countries. In addition to traditional markets such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, among significant markets of the ZETOR brand there were the UK, France, Ireland and Lithuania.
The history of ZETOR starts in 1946 when the first tractor was produced in Zbrojovka Brno. It was labelled Z 25 and mass production of these machines was launched without a single obstacle. Famous ZETOR tractors obtained their name through joining the “Z” letter representing the logo of the arms factory in Brno (Zbrojovka Brno) and the suffix “or” of the word “tractor”. Mass production of ZETOR tractors started in 1946 and the ZETOR trademark was registered in the same year. In 1952, ZETOR moved to a new location within Brno, Líšeň, where the tractors have been produced to this day.
In the late 1950s, ZETOR was the first to introduce a progressive and unique concept of using unified parts to produce tractors worldwide; the Unified Series I was launched. In 1968, the Unified Series II was presented; it included many innovative features of those times – e.g. the first safety cabin with rollover protection system in the world, mounted on vibration isolators. The new cabin also helped to reduce noise in the cabin below 85 dB. Thanks to these innovative procedures, the ZETOR brand was globally acclaimed and topped the charts of global tractor manufacturers. Soon, in the 1970s, the first six-cylinder ZETOR CRYSTAL 12011 tractor was designed. In 1976, ZETOR became the name of both the brand and the Company. The company continued to evolve and in 1991 the Unified Series III was launched; it underwent an innovation process at the turn of the millennium and received the ZETOR FORTERRA trade name.
For the ZETOR brand, the turn of the millennium was a revolutionary period. The well-established Czech brand of farming machinery could have been subject to vanishing then since the state-owned enterprise faced bankruptcy. Around then, HTC Holding a.s. from Slovakia entered history and in June 2002, it became the owner of ZETOR. When the new owners came into the company, they invested money to stabilize it and, in turn, restructure it.
Zetor produces four tractor model ranges: Zetor Major, Zetor Proxima, Zetor Forterra, and Zetor Crystal. In 2015, at Agritechnica exhibition in Hannover, Germany, the Company announced the plan to extend the current product portfolio by two new model ranges and offer machines with powers ranging from 50 to 200 hp.
So far the least powerful Zetor Major range was launched in the early 2013. It is a simple tractor with the power of 76 hp, which is appreciated for its reliability and low operation costs. In 2015, the Major range was extended by a new type Major 60 with the power of 61 hp. In the late 2016 the Company launched new MAJOR HS, which offers higher comfort retaining low operation costs. Tractors of the Major range included in the medium power class are appreciated for easy operation and service.
The Proxima range entered the market in 2004. It is a universal farming tractor employing four-cylinder engines of the ZETOR brand. They are used for aggregations with farming machines, industrial adaptors and in farming transport. They are mostly used in farming, forestry and community service. Zetor manufactures three types: Proxima CL, proxima GP, and Proxima HS, covering the powers from 80 to 120 hp and offering a high variability of transmissions. They offer creeping gears in the CL model, up to three-stage PowerShift or PowerShuttle.
The Forterra range introduces robust tractors equipped with four-cylinder Zetor engines, which are suitable for heavy-duty work in farming and forestry. The first pieces entered the market in 2008. In 2012, the range was extended by Forterra HSX with 30/30 transmission and electro-hydraulic reverser. In 2014, the range was extended by Forterra HD with the power up to 147 hp and electronic hydraulic regulation.
For a long-term period, Zetor has not produced a powerful six-cylinder tractor. Such a missing model was launched in 2015 when Zetor Crystal was presented. The name Crystal refers to the legendary tractors produced by Zetor from 1969 to the 1980s. It that period, over 45,000 Crystal tractors were sold. The new Crystal is equipped with a six-cylinder engine with the power from 144 or 163 hp. The engines are equipped with 24 valves and Common Rail injection. The transmission offers 30 forward and 30 reverse gears. The operation of the tractor is made easier by three-stage PowerShift, PowerShuttle and PowerClutch, the clutch button incorporated into the gear-shifting lever.
These markings of ZETOR tractors are used only for the Unified Series I, II. The Unified Series III uses new coding.
The first or three numbers of the marking of the tractor mean the approximate power of the engine in hp, e.g. 72, 80, 121, 162, etc.
The next two numbers mark powered axles, e.g. 7211 (Zetor with approximate power of 72 hp without front-wheel drive).
-//-45 (Zetor with 4WD)
-//-16 (Semi-caterpillar version)
In 2015, ath Agritechnica exhibition in Hannover, Zetor introduced the design concept ZETOR by Pininfarina. The concept shall be applied to all model ranges and products of the Zetor brand. BBC has said on the concept of the Italian Pininfarina studio, which supplies concepts for instance for Ferrari, that it is the most sexy tractor in the world ever.
Engines and Components
Zetor produces and sells also individual engines and tractor components. Four-cylinder Zetor engines meet the required emission standards including the currently strictest STAGE IV. To its customers it offers service and spare parts, which are supplied throughout the world. Zetor offer currently includes over 20,000 original parts for all types of ZETOR tractors ranging from Unified Series I, II, and III to current models. Thus, even tractors aged over 40 years have full service support. Zetor also produces original oils of the Zetor brand.
Zetor offers two ranges of front loader within the Zetor System. Front loaders marked ZL and ZX differ in size and lifting force whereas both are compatible with all current Zetor tractors.
June 13, 2013, witnessed the ceremonial opening of the Zetor museum called Zetor Gallery. The museum displays tractors from the legendary Z 25 up to the most current Crystal model and the prototype of the future design tractors Zetor by Pininfarina. Part of the museum is also a fan shop.