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GmbH & Co. KGaA
Industry Agricultural machinery, Agriculture
Founded 1913
Headquarters Harsewinkel, Germany
Key people
Strategy and Corporate Communications, speaker of the executive board
Revenue Increase € 3.839bn (2015) [1]
Number of employees
11,535 (2015)
CLAAS LEXION combine harvester
Tractor CLAAS AXOS 320
CLAAS hay rake
CLAAS tractor, CLAAS forage harvester

Claas is an agricultural machinery manufacturer founded in 1913, based in Harsewinkel, Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Germany, in the state of North Rhine Westphalia. The product range includes combine harvesters, forage harvesters, balers, mowers, rakes, tractors, tedders and other harvesting machines. Claas produced its 450,000th machine in 2013. Claas is the world leader in rubber tracked wheel technology for combine harvesters. Over 45% of all new combines are equipped with rubber tracks.

Claas also has the largest selling self-propelled forage harvester in the world and manufactures a line of tractors.[citation needed].

Claas offers a choice of 34 models between 72 and 524 hp: the XERION 4x4 high-horsepower tractors, the AXION, ARION and ATOS standard tractors, the compact ELIOS class and the NEXOS models in the narrow gauge range. [2]


The start of the Claas group took place in 1913[3] 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 started to market the first combine harvester built in Europe, as opposed to imported machines previously available. They then offered trailed combine harvesters (reaper-binders) to the European market.

In 1946, following the war, Claas introduced self-propelled combine harvesters. By the mid 1950s they opened a new factory in Paderborn, Germany, and their first outside Germany – in Metz, France in 1961. Claas took over Josef Bautz, (agricultural machinery factory) in 1969 and expanded the product range to include green harvest machinery.

Modern era 1970s[edit]

  • 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, in a joint partnership with Caterpillar introduces the LEXION combine, the most powerful combine in the world (up to 40 tonnes of grain per hour).

Since 2000[edit]

  • 2001 Claas Omaha (COL) opened in 2001 and starts to produce the LEXION combine series. Caterpillar sells its 50% stake in the venture to Claas.[4] North American LEXION combines continue to be distributed by Caterpillar dealers.
  • 2003 Claas acquires a majority stake in Renault Agriculture and expands its product range with tractors and the 400,000th combine harvester, a LEXION 480, is produced.
  • 2004 The 20,000th JAGUAR Forage Harvester commemorated with a special coat of paint and the 1000th tractor are produced.
  • 2005 Claas opens 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.
  • 2008 Claas acquires the remaining stake of Renault Agriculture to make it 100% Claas owned. The AXOS tractor, up to 100HP, is unveiled.
  • 2009 The AVERO, a compact-class combine harvester is introduced. The XERION 5000 is released which features more than 500HP.
  • 2010 The 1000th XERION tractor rolls of the line and features a special coat of white paint. A new technology center opens up in Harsewinkel.
  • 2011 The AXION 900 is presented at the SIMA show in Paris, France. The 30,000th JAGUAR is produced and receives a special coat of paint. The LEXION 770, the world's only class 10 combine harvester at the time, sets a Guinness World Record with 675.84 tons of grain harvested in 8 hours.[5]
  • 2013 Claas produces its 450,000th combine, a LEXION 740 Terra Trac, at Claas of America's La Vista, Nebraska assembly plant.[6]
  • 2013 Claas introduces the all new AXION 800 series. At the end of the year the AXION 850 wins tractor and machine of the year 2014 at the Agritechnica show in Germany.

In Argentina[edit]

The local subsidiary has existed since 2001 - although in 1993, Reynaldo Postacchini, had imported a CLAAS model Mega 208 -, and is part of the list of 27 branches that the German company has around the world.

In 2006 the possibility that Claas Argentina set up a factory in Argentina was tangible and by 2013, began to produce the Tucano combine, with a motor of 270 to 360 HP (Class VI or VIII). At the same time, the company advances in the increase of the assembly capacity and a greater participation of the national pieces in its integration.

In the town of Ameghino (Buenos Aires), it manufactures heads and other equipment and components.3

At present, the administrative headquarters of Claas is in the locality santafesina of Sunchales, department Castellanos.

Claas Museum[edit]

The Claas Museum is located in the Claas Technoparc in Harsewinkel, Germany, and features a display of historical harvesting machines and agriculture equipment. Visitation is during working days only.


  1. ^ "Annual Report - Statistics". CLAAS Group. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  2. ^
  3. ^,bpSite=35108.html Archived 2013-08-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Henderson, Lynn. "CLAAS: The Harvesting Specialists". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Combine Harvesting (Wheat) - Team in Eight Hours". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Nohr, Emily. "CLAAS celebrates milestone with combine 'masterpiece'". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Claas at Wikimedia Commons