Annual Report 2021



Pushing the boundaries. What does this mean for CLAAS as a technology leader? Never accepting simply what is possible. Finding new perspectives. And never losing touch with reality, no matter how far we progress. This was the attitude embraced by Helmut Claas throughout his career as a pioneer of agricultural machinery, and something that continues to shape CLAAS as a brand to this day. As of summer 2021, the company holds around 4,300 active patents around the world. They can be found in our combine harvesters, tractors, forage harvesters, and plenty of other products besides. We will be looking at the CLAAS innovations that will determine the future of the company – and at how Helmut Claas laid the foundations for his business by looking to push the boundaries of what was possible at an early stage.

Rethinking hardware: The combine harvester is a flagship product for CLAAS. And the latest generation of the LEXION has been completely re-engineered, in close collaboration with farmers, contractors, and drivers. The pioneering TERRA TRAC crawler track system offers maximum traction with reduced soil compaction. It features in a range of CLAAS models, including the AXION series of large tractors.

The predecessor: The DOMINATOR, which became one of the highest-selling combine harvesters in Europe, is likely the greatest testament to the technical creativity and vision of Helmut Claas. It was the first agricultural machine in the world developed as a modular system under the “simultaneous engineering” concept. The DOMINATOR was a “bread-and-butter” line launched in 1971. The first LEXION went on the market in 1996.

Sensor technology and software make for more sustainable agriculture. Case in point: the Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2021. The engine and transmission in the AXION 960 CEMOS have been optimized for greater efficiency and combined with a unique assistance system. Today CLAAS technologies, such as GPS steering and machine connectivity, help farmers manage their machine fleets and harvest processes in a resource-friendly manner.

Unique concept: CLAAS entered the tractor market in the 1990s with the XERION 2500. The idea proposed by Helmut Claas was simple: “The tractor had to work in unison with the agricultural machine while offering the convenience of a self-driving model.”

State-of-the-art production with Industry 4.0: In Le Mans, France, CLAAS combines robotics, the internet of things, and virtual reality to produce its tractors. The new plant in Harsewinkel is taking the next step with the SynPro 2020 project. Both locations show that high-tech equipment and ergonomic workstations are the basis for smart agricultural machinery of the future and offer the freedom to bring new ideas to life.

CLAAS France S.A.S. is an ongoing success story on the French sales market. Helmut Claas had in-depth knowledge of the French market and, in the 1950s, was personally involved in the creation of the new company alongside his brother Reinhold Claas. With the backing and involvement of Helmut Claas, a baler plant was constructed in Woippy and the Renault Agriculture tractor plant was purchased. With his focus on international markets and good intuition, Helmut Claas plotted a course to establish CLAAS as a provider of the full range of agricultural machinery in what remains a key market.


For millennia, agriculture has formed a vital connection between humans and nature, and it remains so today. The difference is that numerous links have been added to the equation. Intrepid farmers, state-of-the-art agricultural equipment, and massive data streams are all doing their part. As a technology leader, CLAAS is a player in this web of connections and continues to move towards digitalized farming – always for the benefit of its customers. The latest Annual Report is therefore dedicated to unearthing the links that tie agriculture together.

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