Not exactly covering the time of IH being sold, but I joined Case IH as Manager of Combine Headers, one of 6 Engineering Managers we had in Crop Harvesting. Three of us were located at the East Moline plant, the other 3 in Hinsdale. The other 2 at East Moline had spent much of their career at the Rock Island plant. We made at least one trip to Hinsdale weekly so I got to hear a lot of Farmall stories. One of the guys, who was once head of the Tractor Operation, placed a great deal of the blame for failure on the McCormick family's insistence on being paid their dividend come **** or high water. Of course the Axial Flow development took a lot of resources but the machine was in production and resources were once again being spent on tractors. The Tractor QA manager said (and pardon me if I have an error here - we are talking nearly 30 years ago) they had redone the 2+2 and redesigning the power train so it was finally capable of handling the power (the original was cobble existing parts together and cross ones fingers) but along came Case and the project was scrapped. He had saved copies of the publications - operators manual, sales literature, etc. - by grabbing them out of the trash as they cleaned out at the end.
I am not sure how things were during the International days but East Moline under Tennaco was not a good place to work. An executive officer was hired from Chrysler and he brought a lot of Chrysler people along with him. It was management by terror. Part of the assembler's pay was based on output - if they achieved 100% they got their regular pay but could earn up to 140% with higher output. I witnessed assemblers using rejected parts to assemble combines because if they waited to get corrected parts, their incentive pay went away. For 1991 we managers were told by our executive VP that quality cannot be compromised; however, write into your employee's performance plan that their job depends meeting their cost improvement target. If they failed to meet their annual target we were to terminate them. Knowing their jobs were at risk, our Engineering staff took unbelievable risks. Now that I am retired, I own one of those combines. With many of my breakdowns I recall the cost reduction project that saved a person's job at a cost to the customer. My used combine is old, over 4,000 hours. The cost reductions implemented were usually good enough to get it through the warranty period but long term - not the old International standard.
I do have an earlier history with International. My father became a dealer in 1939 and lost his dealership in 1954 when he would not build a new building in town. He sold almost all the A's, C's, H's, and M's in this area. Once International was gone, Case came knocking at the door. We also farmed and switched to Case on our farm but I was very happy when my dad and uncle got fed up with Case quality and we bought our 806. That was right as I graduated from college and left the farm only to return after retirement.