Earlier this year we reported on Yanmar's step up in the tractor market to offer a new line of super-styled machines. Looks like the work isn't ending there with news that the company is also entering the utility vehicle market with the Bull Series.
"It's a natural progression for Yanmar," says Jason Fitch, business unit manager, utility task vehicle division, Yanmar. "We wanted to give our dealer base on the construction and ag side a machine they wanted to have. Almost everyone else in this market is offering a utility vehicle, and our dealers were asking as well."
Yanmar is technically not new to the design requirements and demands of the market. Fitch points out that Tuff Torq is a maker of the majority of utility vehicle transaxle and differential gears, and driveline components for the market. Tuff Torq is part of the Yanmar group, and yes, it's a supplier of the Bull Series driveline differentials.
Keen observers may also notice that this first line of machines from Yanmar looks kind of familiar. In Japan, Yanmar and Yamaha have a long-time working relationship in a number of areas; and at least for new they do with side-by-side machines.
"This is the first venture for Yanmar and Yamaha in the U.S.," Fitch says. "It was the most expedient way for us to get into the utility vehicle market more quickly."
The two companies already partner in other areas, including the Yamaha unmanned helicopter, generators and snow blowers.
Fitch adds that there will likely be more utility vehicles in the future, though he didn't say when. As for speculation, since Yanmar is a leader in small diesel engine design - providing diesel engines even for competitive utility vehicles, it's possible they'll bring something to market in the future that has an oil-burner for power.
The Bull Series is being offered in two designs - the Bull three-seater and the Longhorn six-seater. Power comes from a 700 cc gas engine and the machines will be sold exclusively through the North American Compact Construction Equipment and Agriculture dealer network starting January 2017.
The machines will feature a silver and red color scheme that complements their performance. The machines are suited for work and play, Fitch says. The company only has prototype machines in time for some fall farm shows - you'll want to visit the Yanmar display at the shows to see if the machines are on hand.
"We can't be at all the shows because we only have a couple prototype, we won't have our preproduction machines until later in October," Fitch explains.
You can learn more about the machines at thebullseries.com.