CLAAS supports German-Zambian agricultural training centre
Berlin/Harsewinkel. On the sidelines of the International Green Week (IGW), which took place in Berlin in January, Federal Minister of Agriculture Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich and his Zambian counterpart Robert Sichinga signed an agreement to establish a German-Zambian agricultural training and knowledge centre.
Together with other German companies, the agricultural technology company CLAAS is supporting the plan and will provide an ARION 600 series tractor free of charge for use in the project. CLAAS is also planning to support the project with a combine harvester.
The joint venture will operate on an area of 64 ha within the GART agricultural research centre (Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust), located roughly 60 kilometres north of the Zambian capital of Lusaka. Operations should start in late summer along with the first harvest.
This economic joint venture project will form part of the bilateral cooperation programme of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The aim of the German-Zambian agricultural training and knowledge centre is to transfer knowledge to farmers and technical workers through realistic training units which use modern agricultural technology and sustainable growing practices, especially in the area of potato and grain production. The new centre will also make an important contribution to food security in Zambia and to the development of a modern agricultural system in the country.
Federal Minister of Agriculture Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich (centre) and Zambian Minister of Agriculture, Robert Sichinga (left), sign the agreement to establish a German-Zambian agricultural training and knowledge centre. Steven van Kooten-Niekerk of agricultural technology manufacturer CLAAS sup-ports the agreement. The discussions were held on the sidelines of the International Green Week in Berlin in January 2014 during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.
Your ideas for ‘Farming by Satellite’ could make you money
Harsewinkel. Students and young farmers in Europe and Africa have less than one month to go to register their details for a major competition about how using satellite technology in agriculture can improve production, efficiency, and reduce environmental impact.
Organisers say that so far 10 countries are represented and they want more! Total cash prizes of €13,000 are on offer in the ‘Farming by Satellite Prize’ for the best success stories or new ideas submitted by 14 April 2014. But as a first step, all entrants must register their details by the 28 February deadline at the prize website: www.farmingbysatellite.eu.
The prize is an initiative of the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the EU agency responsible for European satellite navigation activities, and is sponsored by CLAAS, a leading manufacturer of agricultural engineering equipment, and crop protection experts Bayer CropScience.
The aim of the competition is to promote the use of satellite navigation in agriculture and its benefits to end users. Individuals or teams must be under the age of 32. They can submit case studies of trials, or new ideas and innovations, particularly those relying upon European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the forthcoming GALILEO system and COPERNICUS (the European Earth Observation Programme).
Gian-Gherardo Calini, Head of Market Development at the GSA says: “We are looking for imaginative solutions that employ ‘free’ satellite technology that can help all the world’s farmers. We anticipate entries from commercial teams as well as students of agriculture, horticulture and life sciences. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get great exposure for their ideas with leading companies and academics.”
CLAAS acquires Chinese agricultural machinery manufacturer Jinyee
The German agricultural engineering company, CLAAS, has now successfully completed the majority take-over of the Chinese agricultural machinery manufacturer, Shandong Jinyee Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd. (Jinyee), in Gaomi in the province of Shangdong. The company now operates under the name CLAAS Jinyee Agricultural Machinery (Shandong) Co. Ltd.
From left: Jinying Ma, Managing Director of CLAAS Jinyee Agriculture Machinery Co. Ltd., Dr. Theo Freye, spokesperson for the CLAAS Executive Board, Fusheng Fan, local party secretary of the city of Gaomi, Dr. Henry Puhl, member of the Executive Board of the CLAAS Group and CEO of CLAAS Jinyee Agriculture Machinery Co. Ltd., stand together on Thursday (23rd January 2014) in the Chinese city of Gaomi (Shandong province). The German agricultural machinery manufacturer has completed the majority take-over of the Chinese company Jinyee. Photo: Friso Gentsch/CLAAS
After the contract was signed on 16th July last year, approval was obtained from the national authorities and further details have been coordinated over the past few months. This process has now been successfully completed in the presence of Dr. Theo Freye, spokesperson for the CLAAS Executive Board, and the CLAAS Managing Director Dr. Henry Puhl.
Dr. Puhl emphasised the importance of this step for the further internationalisation of CLAAS: "The current importance of China in the agricultural industry is set to increase significantly in the next few years. Modernisation and mechanisation using modern agricultural engineering have priority. We are therefore convinced that our Chinese strategy means that we are now well positioned in the largest and fastest-growing agricultural engineering market in Asia. Jinyee and CLAAS complement each other perfectly."
Dr. Henry Puhl, member of the Executive Board of the CLAAS Group and CEO of CLAAS Jinyee Agriculture Machinery Co. Ltd, presents Jinying Ma, Managing Director of CLAAS Jinyee Agriculture Machinery Co. Ltd., on Thursday (23rd January 2014) with a symbolic golden combine harvester in the Chinese city of Gaomi (Shandong province). The German agricultural machinery manufacturer has completed the majority take-over of the Chinese company Jinyee. Photo: Friso Gentsch/CLAAS
Jinying Ma, Managing Director of CLAAS Jinyee Agriculture Machinery Co. Ltd., and Dr. Theo Freye, spokesperson for the CLAAS Executive Board, shaking hands on Thursday (23rd January 2014) in the Chinese city of Gaomi (Shandong province) in front of the new company name of CLAAS Jinyee Agriculture Machinery Co. Ltd.. The German agricultural machinery manufacturer has completed the majority take-over of the Chinese company Jinyee. Photo: Friso Gentsch/CLAAS
Jinyee produces various harvesting machines, mainly for the maize and wheat harvest, at two main sites in Gaomi and Daqing. Each of the sites lies in the heart of the country's two main agricultural regions, one in central China and the other in north-eastern China. The headquarters of the agricultural engineering company, which was founded in 1958, are in the city of Gaomi, which is situated between Beijing and Shanghai in the province of Shandong.
Jinyee is expecting a turnover of around €90 million for 2013, employs a total of 1100 employees, and operates a comprehensive sales and service network in central and northern China.
View of the company site of CLAAS Jinyee Agriculture Machinery Co. Ltd. on Thursday (23rd January 2014) in the Chinese city of Gaomi (Shandong province). The German agricultural machinery manufacturer has completed the majority take-over of the Chinese company Jinyee. Photo: Friso Gentsch/CLAAS
The 10 years since CLAAS bought a majority share in Renault Agriculture have been ones of considerable change. From Renault’s fairly small market share centred on its French home market, CLAAS has grown to become one of Europe’s major tractor manufacturers and a leader in tractor development.
In the UK, against a general reduction in overall tractor sales over the past 10 years, CLAAS has consistently bucked the trend, with a consistent increase in sales and market share.
Central to the success of CLAAS Tractor over the last 10 years has been the commitment to an intensive investment programme in both the production facilities and model ranges that has totalled over 500 million Euros to date. At the Le Mans factory this has included the development of a completely new cab assembly line and the installation of one of the most advanced, environmentally friendly paint application systems in Europe.
In terms of tractor product development, the last 10 years have seen the complete range replaced nearly two-and-a-half times, which is more than any other manufacturer.
The number of models offered has grown from five ranges with power outputs from 75-250hp to currently nine ranges with power outputs from 72hp up to 525hp, and within this CLAAS offers one of the largest ranges of model variants of any manufacturer on the UK market.
Over 100,000 tractors have now been manufactured and the rise in sales, helped by the best selling ARION range, is evident in the fact that CLAAS has manufactured 25,000 tractors in the last two years alone. In 10 years, European sales have increased by 30% and CLAAS are well on track to achieve a sales target of 25,000 tractor sales a year by 2018.
As with other leading products in the CLAAS product range, machine and operator efficiency are key drivers in the company’s tractor product development. CLAAS has rapidly become a leader in the development of innovative but practical tractor technology, designed to provide operators with increased outputs and lower running cost.
The success of this policy is more than evident in the fact that in just the last year, CLAAS has:
Been awarded the prestigious European ‘Tractor of the Year’ award for the AXION 850
Launched the 410hp AXION 950, which is the most powerful conventional tractor on the market and has returned the highest ever drawbar power figure recorded in DLG Powermix tests, recording an average fuel consumption of just 249 g/kWh or 3.64l/ha, (which is 15.4% below the average for this class of tractor), dropping to 222g/kWh at maximum output
Developed the new ground-breaking EQ200 CVT transmission for the ARION CMATIC range, which provides unprecedented efficiency and economy
Introduced the new 215-264hp AXION 800 range, which are the first tractors to meet the highest TIER4 Final emissions regulations
However, it’s not just in new tractor sales where CLAAS has revolutionised the market. As the CLAAS share of the UK market continues to grow, CLAAS UK has been the first to provide a manufacturer backed quality assurance scheme for used tractors – CLAAS APPROVED USED & FIELD READY. By thoroughly assessing each used tractor prior to sale, this sets a benchmark for used tractors and ensures that buyers can have confidence when investing in a used CLAAS tractor.
Continued success for agricultural equipment company in anniversary year
CLAAS: The best in 100 years!
Harsewinkel/Düsseldorf, December 16, 2013. CLAAS posts impressive figures in anniversary year. The agricultural equipment company based in the eastern Westphalian town of Harsewinkel has been celebrating its 100th anniversary during 2013.
CLAAS posts impressive figures in anniversary year
The agricultural equipment company based in the eastern Westphalian town of Harsewinkel has been celebrating its 100th anniversary during 2013. CLAAS is continuing on its successful course and once again has reported impressive results for this fiscal year, which finished on 30 September. The family-owned business generated sales of €3,824.6 million, up from €3,434.6 million in the previous year. This equates to a rise of 11.3%, with the in the Agricultural Equipment division seeing a rise in sales of 12.0%. Gross profit on sales was up almost 7.6% year on year and, at €974.6 million, is closing in on the €1 billion mark. Income before taxes and the Group’s net income came in at €295.3 million and €212.3 million respectively, both down slightly on the previous year, which had included positive special effects from the disposal of the Production Technology division. The Group’s operating result reached a new record high at €325 million.
Success at CLAAS is founded on the company’s expertise and eagerness to develop and market brand-new and continuously improving technologies. CLAAS is renowned for making the “first move” on new innovations. Current trends in state-of-the-art agriculture include the introduction of new, highly productive harvesters and tractors and intelligent networked systems – all based on a complete process-chain approach.
CLAAS annual press conference 2013 in Düsseldorf, the members of the Executive Board from left: Lothar Kriszun (Tractors), Hans Lampert (Finance and Controlling), Jan-Hendrik Mohr (Sales), Dr. Theo Freye (Marketing and Strategy, Spokesman of the Executive Board, CLAAS KGaA mbH), Dr. Hermann Garbers (Technology und Quality).
International markets on solid footing
Agricultural income developed positively in the crop year 2012/2013, which ended earlier than the CLAAS fiscal year on June 30, 2013. A variety of trends were observed in individual regions. While agricultural market volume in Western Europe was down slightly overall, market volume in the core CLAAS markets of Germany and France rose. Agricultural markets in Central Europe remained at a high level despite declining slightly last year. Growth rates in the Eastern European agricultural equipment sector were positive. The agricultural market in the U.S. and Canada stood out on account of sustained growth, as farmers received compensation through crop insurance payouts for crop failures caused by drought conditions. Growth at CLAAS outpaced market growth in many areas, enabling the company to acquire a greater market share.
Focus remains on research and development
One in every nine CLAAS employees currently works in one of the Group’s R & D divisions. Investment in research and development rose once again year on year, reaching €198 million. A number of different awards for new technical developments in machinery and software also underscored the role of CLAAS as an innovative force in the agricultural equipment industry. At the world’s largest agricultural equipment exhibition, the Agritechnica in Hanover, CLAAS took home an astonishing seven medals awarded by the German agricultural association Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft e.V. (DLG), as well as the international title “Tractor of the Year 2014” for the new AXION 850 tractor, and two “Machine of the Year 2014” titles for the AXION 800 tractor series with its infinitely variable transmission and the CEMOS AUTOMATIC combine control software.
CLAAS growing more and more international
As of September 30, 2013, the CLAAS Group employed 6.8% more people than in the previous year. The total number of employees stood at 9,697 as of the reporting date (prior year: 9,077). The difference between the number of domestic jobs and jobs abroad has largely evened out, with every other employee at CLAAS now based outside of Germany. The expansion of the CLAAS factory in the Russian city of Krasnodar with the associated recruitment measures and the planned acquisition of the Chinese agricultural equipment manufacturer Shandong Jinyee Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd. in the Shandong province will continue to drive this tendency toward a more international structure.
CLAAS Group in figures
2013 in € million
2012 in € million
Change in %
Gross profit on sales
Income before taxes
Free cash flow
Employees on reporting date (Sep. 30)
Despite experiencing a slight decline overall, crop prices for agricultural products are currently stabilizing at a relatively high level. This will lead to positive income forecasts for our customers. Farmers and contractors will have more resources available to invest in new equipment, although, as in prior years, this trend will take on a different shape in various regions around the world.
In the 2014 fiscal year, the tendency will be for more lateral development on the market than upward progression. As a result, we anticipate stable to moderately increasing sales for 2014. This forecast is also based on our assessment of growth potential in various product groups, especially tractors. 2014 will also see us continue our massive investment in expanding our business and in particular open up growth markets in Asia. However, we will also retain our focus on our core European markets.