Claas KGaA mbH Type GmbH & Co. KGaA Industry Agricultural machinery, Agriculture Founded 1913 Headquarters Harsewinkel, Germany Key people Dr. Theo Freye, Speaker of the Executive Board Revenue € million 2.900,1 EUR (2009)  Employees 9.467 (2009) Website www.claas.com
Claas is an agricultural machinery manufacturer founded in 1913, now based in Harsewinkel, Germany, in the state of North Rhine Westphalia. Their agricultural products are usually sold under the Claas name, except in North America where combines are distributed under the Lexion brand by Caterpillar dealers. The product range includes combine harvesters, forage harvesters, balers, mowers, rakes, tedders and other harvesting machines. In 2004, Claas purchased the Renault Agriculture tractor division from the Renault company of France, becoming 100% owned by Claas in 2008.
The start of the Claas group took place in 1913, when August Claas developed the company in Clarholz, Germany. In 1919, the business was transferred to Harsewinkel, Germany, where the company focused on the production of reapers. Two years later the company obtained their first patent – for a knotter to efficiently bind straw. In 1930, the first Harvester was developed with the European market in mind with the first Pick-up Baler following in 1934. In 1936 Claas starts to market the first combine harvester built in Europe, as opposed to imported machines previously available. They then go on to off trailed combine harvester (reaper-binder) to the European market.
In 1946, following the war, Claas introduce self-propelled combine harvesters. By the mid 50s they open a new factory in Paderborn, Germany, and their first outside Germany – in Metz, France in 1962. Claas took over Josef Bautz, (agricultural machinery factory) in 1969 and expanded the product range to include green harvest machinery.
Modern era 1970s
- 1971 Development of a pick-up sugar cane harvester.
- 1973 Presentation of the first self- propelled forage harvester.
- 1976 Introduction of the first Claas round baler Rollant.
- 1983 Introduction of Jaguar self-propelled forage harvesters.
- 1988 Claas presents Quadrant, the first Claas large-square baler.
- 1994 Start of development of Agrocom a computer based, satellite-assisted, agricultural information system.
- 1995 Claas introduces the Lexion combine, the most powerful combine in the world (up to 40 tonnes of grain per hour).
The New Millennium
- 2001 Claas Omaha/COL opened in 2001 and starts to produce the Lexion combine series. North American Lexion combines are distributed as CAT Lexion by Caterpillar dealers.
- 2003 Claas acquires Renault Agriculture and expands its product range with tractors.
- 2005 Claas open a new factory in Krasnodar in South Russia. Launch of Lexion 600 Combine.
- 2006 Claas manufactures the 80,000th Rollant baler, and launch of the Axion tractor.
- 2007 Claas launches Tucano combine, larger Jaguar from 630 hp - 830 hp, Arion Tractor 112 hp- 175 hp and larger Xerion 379 hp.
- Nectis: 54 - 99 hp
- Celtis: 72 - 100 hp
- Axos: 100 - 120 hp
- Ares 500: 100 - 120 hp
- Ares 600: 110 - 140 hp
- Ares 800: 158 - 193 hp
- Arion: 112 hp - 175 hp
- Axion: 163 hp - 225 hp
- Altes: 226 - 275 hp
- Xerion Saddle Trac: 305 hp
- Xerion Trac: 304 hp - 500 hp
- Claas Dominator (An older Dominator was used for a Top Gear challenge in the Series 16, Episode 5 of the TV show Top Gear.)
- Claas Medion
- Claas Mega
- Claas Tucano
- Claas Lexion 560-510
- Claas Lexion 580-570
- Claas Lexion 600
- Lexion 595R/590
- Lexion 585R/580R
- Lexion 575R/570R
- Lexion 560R
- Lexion 570
- Lexion 560
- Lexion 600
- Crop Tiger
Forage Harvesting Machinery
- Forage Harvester: Jaguar
- Mowers: Disco, Corto, Cougar
- Tedding: Trailed and self powered
- Telehandler: Scorpion
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