1945 to 1960
War surplus tractors and bulldozers were imported for land reclamation and cultivation in mid-1940s. In 1947 central and state tractor organisations were set up to develop and promote the supply and use of tractors in agriculture and up to 1960, the demand was met entirely through imports. There were 8,500 tractors in use in 1951, 20,000 in 1955 and 37,000 by 1960.
1961 to 1970
Local production began in 1961 with five manufacturers(Eicher, Gujarat Tractors, TAFE, Escorts, M&M) producing a total of 880 units per year. By 1965 this had increased to over 5000 units per year and the total in use had risen to over 52,000. By 1970 annual production had exceeded 20,000 units with over 146,000 units working in the country.
1971 to 1980
Six new manufacturers were established during this period although three companies (Kirloskar Tractors, Harsha Tractors and Pittie Tractors) did not survive. HMT, a large public sector unit, began manufacturing Agricultural Tractors in 1972 under the HMT brand name with technology acquired from Zetor of the Czech Republic. Escorts Ltd. began local manufacture of Ford tractors in 1971 in collaboration with Ford, UK and total production climbed steadily to 33,000 in 1975-76
1981 to 1990
A further five manufacturers(Auto Tractors, Haryana Tractors, United Auto Tractors, Asian Tractors, VST Tillers) began production during this period but only Last one survived in the increasingly competitive market place. Annual production exceeded 75,000 units by 1985 and reached 140,000 in 1990 when the total in use was about 1.2 million. Then India - a net importer up to the mid-seventies - became an exporter in the 1980s mainly to countries in Africa.
1991 to 1997
Since 1992, it has not been necessary to obtain an industrial license for tractor manufacture in India. By 1997 annual production exceeded 255,000 units and the national tractor population had passed the two million mark. India now emerged as one of the world leaders in wheeled tractor production.
1997 to 1999
Five new manufacturers have started production since 1997. In 1998 Bajaj Tempo, already well established in the motor industry, began tractor production in Pune. In April of the same year New Holland Tractor (India) Ltd launched production of 70 hp tractors with matching equipment. The company is making a $US 75 million initial investment in a state-of-the-art plant at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh state with an initial capacity of 35000 units per year. Larsen and Toubro have established a joint venture with John Deere, USA for the manufacture of 35-65 hp tractors at a plant in Pune, Maharashtra and Greeves Ltd will produce tractors under similar arrangements with Deutz-Fahr of Italy. Looking to South American export markets Mahindra and Mahindra are also developing a joint venture with Case for tractors in the 60-200 hp range. Total annual production was forecast to reach 300,000 during the following year.
1999 to present
Facing market saturation in the traditional markets of the north west (Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh) tractors sales began a slow and slight decline. By 2002 sales went below 200,000. Manufacturers expanded into eastern and southern India markets in an attempt to reverse the decline, and began exploring the potential for overseas markets.
In 2013, India produced 619,000 tractors accounting for 29% of world's output. It is the world's largest producer and market for tractors. India currently has 16 domestic and 4 multinational corporations manufacturing tractors.