COCKSHUTT IN NAME ONLY
Diesel World|January 2021
1965 COCKSHUTT 1550 WHEATLAND
JIM ALLEN

Even if we don’t know the term, we’ve all seen badge engineering at work. Take a vehicle platform of one brand name, change it up a little, add new paint and a different badge and call it something else. Typically, it’s done within one large manufacturer that shares a platform among several brands. The Chevy Uplander minivan, for example, was sold as the Pontiac Montana, Buick Terraza and Saturn Relay. Back in the day, it was also done with tractors but in this case it highlighted the sad end of a storied tractor manufacturer.

James Cockshutt started in the ag business way back in 1870 by buying the rights to manufacture an American plow in Canada. The business grew and remained in the family with an expanded line of products. When the internal combustion engine age came in the early 1900s, Cockshutt jumped on the bandwagon by selling rebadged American tractors. They did so until after World War II, when they fielded all-news tractors designed and built in their own facility, the 1947 Cockshutt 30 being the first.

Several other all-new Cockshutts were introduced through the late ‘40s and into the early 1950s and continued the expansion. Regrettably, that expansion came at a time when the ag market was contracting. As a result, Cockshutt stock shares, which had been soaring, plummeted. In 1958, a mysterious group of corporate raiders bought up all the stock and took effective control of the company away from the Cockshutt family.

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