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A passion for agriculture.

Many companies have a history – but some of them have also made history. CLAAS has helped to define the world of agriculture. Join us as we delve into the history of the company since its establishment back in 1913.

A passion for agriculture.

Many companies have a history – but some of them have also made history. CLAAS has helped to define the world of agriculture. Join us as we delve into the history of the company since its establishment back in 1913.

Company history

Without the legendary knotter, the story of CLAAS would probably have taken a very different course. Join us on a journey through the CLAAS story, and find out how a small village blacksmith’s workshop grew into one of the world’s largest agricultural equipment groups.

1913 – 1929

It all started with a knot

August Claas filed his first patent application back in 1921, for a knotter device. Further patents followed, providing a much more robust and reliable tying mechanism for the straw binders that the company was now producing. The outstanding reliability of the new knotter drove a dramatic increase in demand for CLAAS straw binders. The innovative knotter device helped the recently established company to become financially secure, and laid the foundations for its future growth.

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1930 – 1945

The combine harvester revolutionises the harvesting sector

Firmly convinced that the combine harvester had a bright future in the grain harvesting sector, in the years from 1930, CLAAS started working on its first harvester prototypes. In 1936, with its “mower-thresher-binder”, the firm unveiled the first fully functional combine harvester, specifically designed for European grain harvesting conditions. This provided the basis for the company’s transformation into one of the leading combine harvester manufacturers worldwide.

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1946 – 1968

Transition to combine harvester specialist

SUPER, EUROPA and MATADOR are just some of the names that tell the story of transforming CLAAS into a combine harvester specialist. The firm was quick to recognise the trend towards ever larger farms, which was reflected in intensive design projects for the development of new, more powerful combine harvester models. Accordingly, it was in these years that the Harsewinkel-based SME grew into one of the world's leading combine harvester manufacturers.

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1969 – 1988

CLAAS – the harvesting specialist

With its takeover of BAUTZ in Saulgau in 1969, CLAAS also entered the green forage harvesting equipment segment. At around the same time, it also acquired the forage harvesting expertise of the Göppingen-based SPEISER firm, which was promptly integrated into the product range of the Saulgau operation. By now, CLAAS was also manufacturing mowers, tedders, swathers and self-loading forage wagons. This meant CLAAS had successfully negotiated the transition from a combine harvester specialist to a leading player across the entire harvesting sector.

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1989 – 2017

International growth and digitalisation

CLAAS has always been an international business. Already in the 1920s, many of its first straw binders were sold abroad, and, since the 1990s, the company has also boosted its international presence beyond Europe. New production and sales locations have been set up in India, the USA, Russia, Thailand, China and South America, for example. Another important strategic step was taken in 2003 with the acquisition of the French tractor manufacturer RENAULT AGRICULTURE. By bundling its electronic and software development activities into CLAAS E-Systems, CLAAS focused on another key sector for the future: the digitalisation of the farming sector.

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