Dr. Jens Foerst takes charge of CLAAS’ global tractor division
From June 1, Dr. Jens Foerst will be taking over responsibility for the tractor division in addition to CLAAS Industrietechnik GmbH, and will be joining the CLAAS Group Executive Board as of 1st April.
Since starting his career after completing his studies at RWTH Aachen, Jens Foerst has held numerous international management positions at EvoBus and MAN and most recently headed a global production network at BMW.
He will be taking over from Lothar Kriszun, who will remain speaker of the CLAAS Group Executive Board as part of the gradual implementation of a generational change. Lothar Kriszun will also continue to manage the Group functions of strategy and corporate communications until his retirement at the end of the fiscal year on 30th September.
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Greater comfort and easy handling
CLAAS unveiled its new series of Stage IV (Tier 4) emissions standard SCORPION telehandlers at Agritechnica 2015, raising the bar on engine performance and comfort. The latest models in this series are available for sale as of now, and boast a range of new functions and added features for even greater comfort and better handling.
These include, for example, a shake function for working with the bucket, the MultiCoupler for fast attachment and removal of implements, and additional tyre options.
Telehandlers are crucial for materials handling on today’s farms. In particular, users are looking for performance, cost-effectiveness and driver comfort, and the CLAAS SCORPION series meets all of these requirements optimally. Spanning lift heights from 6.15 to 8.75 m and lift capacities from 3.0 to 5.5 t, the wide-ranging SCORPION series has the right solution for every farm. All SCORPION models come with a four-cylinder Deutz diesel engine available in either Stage IV (Tier 4) for HRC or Stage IIIA for LRC. They also feature proven CLAAS systems such as SMART ROADING and SMART HANDLING for particularly intelligent drive line technology, and added comfort and ease of operation in all work environments.
New shake function makes bucket emptying even easier
SMART HANDLING provides greater operational reliability and adjustable automatic driver comfort functions as standard on all CLAAS telehandlers to make things easier over the driver for a wide range of tasks. A new feature for the SCORPION range is the bucket shake function, which makes it easier to empty the bucket when working with damp or sticky materials such as manure, compost or soil. The boom itself can still be moved around as normal when the shake function is activated. This function is deployed via a key combination on the joystick, so that the driver can easily switch it on or off at any time during work operations.
With SMART HANDLING, the driver can also easily switch between bucket mode, stacking mode with vertical lift and manual mode. Another new automated feature is the bucket return function, with which the driver can programme a bucket return position at any time, and then automatically return the bucket to that position simply by pressing a button.
Bucket shake function
New MultiCoupler for fast, easy implement switching
CLAAS now offers the MultiCoupler as an option for all SCORPION models. Along with the pushbutton pressure release switch on the headstock, it makes the task of connecting and disconnecting hydraulic connections when changing implements even faster and easier. The MultiCoupler is already a proven performer on CLAAS tractors with front loaders, and CLAAS is the first-ever manufacturer to offer this option ex factory for telehandlers. The new MultiCoupler is available as either a double or a quadruple variant.
Other new options for the current SCORPION series include rugged Michelin BibLoad tyres and the proven CLAAS TELEMATICS performance analysis and documentation system. The new BibLoad tyres are particularly suitable for operating telehandlers on hard surfaces such as asphalted areas around the farm. Depending on the model, Michelin 460/70 R24 or 500/70 R24 tyres are also available.
MultiCoupler for fast attachment and removal of implements
The drive line
All SCORPION models are powered by new-generation Deutz diesel engines. In particular, the engines used in the SCORPION 7050 to 6030 models offer greater torque (+4%) and output (+11%) compared with their predecessors. Available power outputs for the SCORPION models range from 100 kW/136 hp at entry level to 115 kW/156 hp in the two top-of-the-range SCORPION 7055 and 9055. All engines feature a combination of DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst) and AdBlue SCR (selective catalytic reduction) emissions control. The top-end models also come with a diesel particulate filter (DFP) as standard.
Optimal driving dynamics with VARIPOWER and SMART ROADING
If desired, the current SCORPION models can be fitted with intelligent hydrostatic VARIPOWER ground drives. These infinitely variable transmission systems are fully automatic and ensure that the SCORPION delivers optimal torque across its entire speed range, right up to its top speed of 40 km/h. As an option, the SCORPION models 7044 to 9055 can also be supplied as variants with a lower top speed of 30 km/h and a greater thrust. The 7055 and 9055 are fitted with VARIPOWER PLUS, which also includes the SMART ROADING feature. With SMART ROADING, there is another efficiency gain, since the engine speed is reduced automatically once the top road speed has been reached. This reduces fuel consumption and noise, while delivering the same output. On request, SMART ROADING is also available in the SCORPION 7035 to 6030.
The cab: greater safety and better orientation
The SCORPION’s safety and driver comfort features include individually adjustable, slip-resistant steps and an additional grab-handle on the B-pillar for greater ease of entering and exiting the cab. The 9055, 7055, 7050 and 7044 models are also equipped with an electronic parking brake, which is built into the armrest for ease of access. For added safety, the parking brake is automatically applied via a seat contact switch whenever the driver leaves the cab. Releasing the brake is also very simple – the driver need only simultaneously engage the brake/inching pedal and the forward/reverse control switch. In addition, all the instrument displays are integrated into the A-pillar of the cab, and are colour-coded. This allows the driver to monitor various machine operating states at a glance while working. Additionally, in the SCORPION 9055 to 7044, the FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structure) grille is installed on the roof of the machine as standard, for optimal visibility and headroom.
All machines and the new options in the SCORPION series are available for sale as of now.
Income before taxes decreased to €93 million (prior year: €158 million), primarily due to a fall in volumes.
Sales down slightly to €3.63 billion from previous year’s record-breaking figure
Income before taxes at €93 million
New record spending on research and development
Double-digit sales growth in Eastern Europe
Outlook for 2017: Slight fall in sales and stable income
“We have maintained our position well in rapidly shrinking markets,” said Lothar Kriszun, Speaker of the CLAAS Group Executive Board. “Double-digit growth in Eastern Europe had a stabilizing effect. We are pressing ahead with our efficiency program and continuing our systematic investment in digitalization and internationalization at CLAAS, thereby stepping up our efforts in tackling this long-term market downturn.”
The global market for professional agricultural equipment once again saw a significant decline in many regions this year. Since 2013, the combine harvester market has shrunk by 50% in North America and by 22% in Europe. CLAAS benefited from an increase in sales in Eastern Europe and stable development in France. Sales decreased in all other regions. In Germany, it was possible to partly compensate for the drop through stronger sales of used machinery and the further expansion of the service business.
Members of the CLAAS Group Executive Board on a crop field in East Westphalia: Hans Lampert (Finance and Controlling), Lothar Kriszun (Speaker of the CLAAS Group Executive Board and responsible for the Tractor Division), Bernd Ludewig (Sales and Marketing).
Spending on research and development up
Investment in research and development reached a new record high of €214 million (prior year: €203 million), and has more than doubled over the past decade. One in every ten CLAAS employees now works in research and development. Investment was focused on new services as well as developments in the area of harvesting machinery and tractors. Electronic components and software are becoming increasingly important in this area as they allow better management and connectivity of agricultural machinery. More and more farmers are looking to monitor and efficiently control the entire operation process chain on their farms.
Investment in new production and development capacity
The most advanced agricultural machinery plant in Europe went online in the city of Krasnodar in southern Russia. It was opened in October 2015, and at approximately €120 million it is the largest single investment in the history of CLAAS.
Besides modernization projects in production in France and Germany, another focus of investment was on expanding the global distribution and dealer network. In the spring, CLAAS laid the foundations for a new electronics development center in the town of Dissen in Lower Saxony. Once complete, it will house over 150 engineers tasked with developing control units, electronics architectures, terminals, and automatic satellite control systems.
Slight decrease in number of employees worldwide
The number of employees worldwide fell slightly to 11,300 as of September 30, 2016 (prior year: 11,535). This is a reflection of shrinking agricultural equipment markets worldwide. CLAAS continues to employ 5,200 people in Germany and remains committed to fostering its own talent. The ratio of apprentices to full-time equivalents was high in 2016 at 8.2% (prior year: 7.8%).
CLAAS Group in figures
2016 in € million
2015 in € million
Change in %
Income before taxes
Free cash flow
Research and development
Number of employees on reporting date (Sep. 30)
The driving forces in markets relevant to CLAAS remain fundamentally intact: Barring any temporary fluctuations, demand for agricultural commodities resulting from population growth and rising prosperity is set to increase constantly.
However, CLAAS expects the global market to continue to shrink in fiscal year 2017. The negative development in terms of agricultural income and the impacts of political and economic crises are leading to a general reluctance to buy when it comes to agricultural equipment.
As a consequence, CLAAS anticipates a slight fall in sales and stable income before taxes.