View from the top: Zetor North America


34936Name: Vladimir Blaskovic
Title: President of Zetor North America,
Inc., Vice Chairman of HTC Holding a.s.
Education: The University of Economics,
Bratislava, Slovakia
Career: More than 30 years of sales experience. Joined HTC Holding in 1989 as VP/Worldwide Sales. Previously Sales Manager for Bratislava Electro Works, a major manufacturer of transformer welding equipment.

AM: Please provide an overview (and brief history) of Zetor.
VB: Zetor North America is the U.S. and Canadian distributor for Zetor Tractors a.s., Brno, Czech Republic. Founded in 1946, Zetor Tractors has grown into one of the best-known tractor manufacturers in Europe.
More than a million Zetor tractors are in use in almost 100 countries around the world, with current models
ranging from 70-140 hp. The quality of Zetor tractors is assured by designing and manufacturing most of its own
components at the company’s main plant in the Czech Republic, a country with a 100-year tradition of advanced engineering. Zetor’s strategy has always been based on practical innovation and gradual introduction of new features, only after they have proven themselves in rigorous testing. The Zetor brand was first introduced into the United States more than 25 years ago, when it was known for durable, reliable and easy-to-maintain small utility
tractors. Since then, our tractors have grown in size and sophistication, but still maintain that same reputation
for dependability, durability and ease of maintenance.

AM: What is the business outlook for Zetor this year, the next 5 years?
We are very pleased that Zetor has been flourishing lately. This has been proved by both the current interest of customers as well as economic results. For instance, we experienced a 140% increase in consolidated economic result before taxes during 2012 compared to 2011. Also, with respect to orders placed for 2013, we believe there is good reason to be optimistic for the future.

AM: Where do you see Zetor in the future?
VB: Zetor is synonymous with quality, power, robustness and efficiency. Since 1946, we have put great effort and resources into research and development, which enables us to offer new and better products to our customers. Whether it’s our unique HitchTronic automatic tillage depth control, fuelefficient engines or innovative new tractor models, Zetor is committed to remaining at the leading edge of tractor design and production.
In addition to top-quality customer service, we strive to maintain our reputation as a reliable partner. This will remain our priority in the future and I believe it will enable us to prevail in the face of strong competition. Farmers are now more and more careful about investing their money wisely, and our aim is to make Zetor tractors the
smart choice for them.

AM: What new product/services is the company introducing to the ag market?
In 2012, we introduced the new Zetor Forterra HSX, which is the most powerful model in our range of
tractors. It is interesting to note that after serial production began in June 2012, the first tractors headed for the
USA. Since then, the Forterra HSX has collected a number of awards from agricultural trade fairs and has been positively welcomed by the users themselves. The latest addition to our product line is the new Zetor Major.
Launched in February 2013, it draws on an earlier model of the same name that became one of the most successful tractors in the history of the Zetor brand. A smaller professional tractor with a power range up to 80hp, the Major was designed for owners of smaller family farms and features an outstanding power-to-cost ratio.

AM: How is the sales organization and channel to the marketplace organized?
VB: Zetor North America markets its products through a network of independent dealers in the U.S. and
Canada. Currently, we are aggressively recruiting new dealers who reflect our corporate commitment to quality, service and integrity.

AM: What role does marketing communications play at Zetor?
VB: Marketing communications, as well as overall communication with both our business partners and potential customers, is of great importance to Zetor. In this way, we can communicate the positives of our tractors to prospective buyers who have not had the opportunity to experience them firsthand. Having said that, we do not
underestimate the importance of communicating with current customers and reinforcing the many positive attributes of our tractors. However, I believe that after the first encounter, our tractors speak for themselves. AM

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