Information About Gray-Market Tractors
Product manufacturers often develop and produce products for sale in a specific country or group of countries, depending on such things as language, product standards, usage patterns, etc. Gray-market products are products specifically manufactured for sale in one country or group of countries and then imported and sold in another country where they were not intended to be sold. This is done by someone other than the manufacturer, and is often against the consent and authorization of the manufacturer.
Gray-market tractors are tractors intended for sale in a country other than the United States, and then imported and sold here by someone other than the manufacturer. The most common gray-market tractors are from Japan. Some of these tractors were manufactured by companies that also sell tractors in the U.S. designed for the U.S. market. These companies may be against the importation of gray-market tractors manufactured by them, and may take legal action to try and stop their importation. They may refuse to offer parts support for these tractors, and parts must be found through another source, or possibly by using the equivalent part from a U.S. tractor, if equivalent parts exist. Other gray-market tractors were manufactured by companies without a U.S. presence, and those companies do not try and stop importation into the U.S.
Common characteristics of gray-market tractors from Japan, when initially imported, are absence of ROPS, non-U.S.-standard PTO (power take-off) speeds, and Japanese-language markings. ROPS may have been added by the importer or dealer prior to sale. Aftermarket ROPS are available for many of these gray-market tractors.
Kubota Tractor Corporation has taken legal action to stop the importation of Kubota gray-market tractors. To find more information about Kubota gray-market tractors and a list of specific models, go to the Kubota website:http://www.kubota.com/priorproduct/GrayMarketFindOut.aspx
Yanmar America Corporation also has a document about gray-market tractors on their web-site: