Report projects TYM North America sales will cross $100 million
TYM has been well-established as an innovative company, including by pioneering self-driving and straight-line assistance in the Korean market in 2013. Today, the company is continuing to advance its product research and development with the incorporation of telematics and autonomous driving. In the context of the increasing trend of autonomous driving equipment, expected to become a $74.1 billion dollar market by 2024, research firm Tractica has predicted TYM will grow its presence as a key player in the agricultural equipment industry.
If autonomous driving technology is the future of TYM, overseas exports are the company's present. As the domestic agricultural machinery industry entered a stagnation period, TYM found a breakthrough in exports early. The market with the most outstanding performance is the “North American” market. TYM North America, which imports and distributes agricultural machinery from Korea, aims to achieve more than 100 million dollars in local sales this year. Last year, TYM's overseas sales exports in North America amounted to $140 million, accounting for 83% of all overseas exports.
TYM has been developing, testing and optimizing autonomous driving functionality since 2011. In May of 2019, TYM demonstrated a self-driving rice transplanter at Oksan village in Gyeongju, Korea. Additionally, it signed an MoU with KT in Korea to promote 5G assisted autonomous farming machines.
A TYM official explained, “In early 2022, we plan to launch an autonomous driving “Level 1” stage tractor and a “Level 2” stage rice transplanter.”
At Level 1, TYM's machines will facilitate straight-line autonomous driving for steering and braking control. At Level 2, the technology will be advanced so machines can also be automatically turned. Additionally, TYM will introduce telematics or self-driving tractors in 2022 to enable remote access to the work log, fault information, theft prevention, maintenance alerts and safety alerts.
In July of 2020, TYM established a dedicated Information Communications Technology (ICT) division to accelerate research initiatives. The previous version of the ICT department was the Central Research Institute. ICT is actively working on developing the software and hardware for autonomous driving controllers and consoles.
Last year, when staying home became the norm with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a home gardening trend caused an increase in the demand for small tractors. Responding to this trend, TYM enhanced marketing efforts and developed products accordingly. For the first time in the industry, TYM developed a program with interactive 3D renders of products and a digital library of catalogs on handheld tablets, enabling sales teams and dealers to present vivid renditions of products remotely or in person.
The T25 tractor was also a critical part of responding to demand in North America, with modern operator-centric features like wireless charging for smartphones, Bluetooth speakers and a toolbox. TYM estimates over 2,500 units of the T25 will be sold to the North American and European markets this year. An official from TYM explained, “As consumers' tastes become more advanced and convenience functions become more important, we will supply the performance and design of small models to meet customer needs.”
This article is adapted from an article by the Korea Economic Daily.
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