Innovation from the beginning

The company strategy has been oriented towards innovation from the very start. Company founder August Claas, who first registered the company in 1913, originally produced powerful straw binders together with his brothers Franz and Theo. An improved knotter formed a secure knot for the straw bale out of the string, which in those days was very poor. The first combine harvester suitable for European harvest conditions then went into series production in 1936. Since then, the combine harvester has been inseparably linked to the CLAAS name. It is mainly this machine which has allowed CLAAS to become a large and important multinational company.

Agricultural engineering IT is simply “EASY”

Up until just a few years ago, the trend in agricultural engineering was characterised by increasingly large machines. Today, however, the harvest chain is seeing many innovations coming through, especially in drive technology, machine intelligence and networking. In 2010, CLAAS consolidated its range of electronics expertise and, since then, has placed it under a collective name. “Efficient Agriculture Systems”, abbreviated as “EASY”, is the CLAAS collective term which encompasses machine control and performance optimisation, steering systems, precision farming and monitoring, software solutions and services.

CLAAS tractors from France

In 2003, the CLAAS group grew significantly with a majority acquisition of French tractor manufacturer Renault Agriculture. Since then, the CLAAS product range has included a broad range of modern tractors. Group sales increased by over €600 million and the workforce grew by around 2,000 people. CLAAS took over Renault Agriculture completely in 2008. Today, employees in France make up almost a third of the entire CLAAS workforce.

Cutterbars and mowers – Attachments from Hungary

CLAAS took over the Hungarian plant in Törökszentmiklós in Eastern Hungary in 1997. CLAAS Hungaria Kft. is a 100-percent subsidiary of the CLAAS Group. The company produces cutterbars and mowers, as well as attachments and implements for self-propelled agricultural machinery such as combine harvesters and tractors. The site has over 100 years of experience in agricultural machinery manufacturing.

LEXION combine harvester from the US state of Nebraska

In the late 1990s, CLAAS opened a new factory for combine harvesters at Omaha in the US state of Nebraska. CLAAS built a production facility for the LEXION combine harvester on former farming land in the vicinity of Missouria and the production plant is situated at the heart of the largest grain growing region in the USA. The LEXION combine harvester is sold throughout the whole North American market.

Plant in southern Russia

To boost sales of CLAAS machinery in Eastern Europe, and particularly in the Russian Federation, the company invested in the construction of a combine harvester plant in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar. For years CLAAS has been successfully involved in the markets of the CIS, and particularly in the Russian Federation, backed up by a highly developed service and distribution network. With this investment decision, CLAAS responded to customer demand for the local production of high-quality and innovative harvesting technology. By so doing, CLAAS became the first Western agricultural machinery manufacturer to establish a proprietary production facility in Russia.

CLAAS combine harvesters made in India

In 2008, CLAAS set up a new production facility in India, at Morinda, near Chandigarh in the state of Punjab , which manufactures combine harvesters. A new "Regional South Center" was opened in March 2012 at Bangalore, which is home to a large spare parts depot and sales office to serve the southern Indian market. The rapid growth of the population and the country’s strong position as an agricultural nation make India an important and rapidly expanding market for agricultural machinery.

The majority of CLAAS combine harvesters produced in India travel on rubber caterpillar tracks and have been specifically developed for the moist ground conditions in rice growing regions. In addition to India, the machinery manufactured in Chandigarh is also marketed in South Korea, Thailand and African nations. In the Thai capital of Bangkok the CLAAS South East Asia Regional Center was founded in July 2012. From here, the South-East Asian team supports dealers throughout the region with the focus initially being on Thailand.

CLAAS in China

In September 2012 CLAAS also established a new company in China, based in Beijing. CLAAS Agricultural Machinery Trading (Beijing) Co., Ltd will promote and market CLAAS technology in this huge country which has a population of 1.34 billion people.