Apr 1, 2015
The Vapormatic Company was founded in Budleigh Salterton, East Devon, in 1949 by Arthur E. Lea, a former sales executive with Shell Petroleum, and Ron Foster, an Engineer who had designed and developed a device to convert petrol engines used on agricultural tractors to run on tractor vaporising oil.
The "Vapormatic" conversion kit played Na essential part in the search for cheaper agricultural production in the times of rationing, after the Second World War. A number of different manifold conversion kits were manufactured by the company for petrol engines used in agriculture at the time. Vapormatic manifolds are still to be found in use today. The model fitted to the Ferguson TE20 tractor petrol engines was the most popular and well known product by the fifties.
The company also developed a related agricultural products range including; - wing carriers for tractors, Matic plough shares, Ferguson spanners, brake safety devices, and various replacement tractor and implement parts.
With the growing use of the diesel engine in agriculture in the 1950's the "Vapormatic" manifold market became limited, so the Company developed its range of replacement agricultural parts and continued to expand.
Innovation and aggressive marketing employed by the company had helped to establish the Vapormatic name in agricultural communities across the world. The highly successful range was marketed through an international network of dealer contacts. The manufacturers of tractors and machinery enjoyed a buoyant market at this time and paid little attention to the supply of spare parts.
The first major investment in information technology came in 1973 with the company's first computer, an IBM System 3. By the mid 1970's Vapormatic had far outgrown its premises on the old Gas Works site in Budleigh Salterton and a five acre green field site was purchased on a prestigious new trading estate alongside the M5 motorway in Exeter.
The new building was planned and built specifically for the storage and worldwide distribution of spare parts, office accommodation, development areas and studios of 12,000 square feet, with factory and warehouse space of 48,000 square feet.
Large changes happened for Vapormatic when in 2001 the business was acquired by John Deere, the largest agricultural machinery manufacturer in the world. With bold ambitions, Vapormatic set about reasserting itself as the leader in alternative spare parts.
Vapormatic has its head office based in the UK, with regional subsidiaries in France, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Mexico and New Zealand, all offering a comprehensive range of over 20,000 quality parts and accessories for all makes of tractor.