Versatile is a Canadian brand of agricultural equipment that has produced augers, swathers and combine harvester. In the 1970s, it was an independent operation, founded by Peter Pakosh and Roy Robinson, that had 70% of the 4WD tractor market and then was later owned by Ford and Fiat’s New Holland, spun off when Case-International merged with New Holland to form CNH Global.
Versatile was the first company to mass-produce articulated four-wheel drive tractors, starting in 1966 with the D100 and G100 four-wheel drives. Those ground-breaking tractors were primitive by modern standards, with a 6-cylinder diesel or 8-cylinder gas engine producing 100 horsepower. 1966 models sold for less than CA$10,000.
Daniel Pakosh also developed the first bi-directional tractor in the world. The Versatile 150 launched in 1977.
Four-wheel drive demand increased significantly, with Versatile becoming one of the leaders in four-wheel drive development and production. By the late 1970s the Versatile lineup included tractors ranging from 220 to 330 horsepower. With the 1980s came an expanded line of four-wheel drive tractors that stretched to 470 horsepower in the Versatile 1150.
On November 1, 2007, Combine manufacturer Rostselmash Inc. acquired 80% of the common shares of Versatile and it was announced that the Versatile brand name will again be the sole name associated with the tractor division.
Dmitry Lyubimov, President of Buhler Industries Inc, said the decision to rebrand the tractor division was not taken lightly. “We recognize the history that is tied to the Versatile name. There are still many older Versatile tractors at work on farms around the world. The name stands for well-built tractors that are powerful, simple and easy to maintain. It is the same philosophy we use today and we are proud of that heritage. It is with great pride that we announce that the Versatile name is back.”