Claas Dealers Get Sneak Peak at New Products in Germany

New Claas tractor line is a highlight but don't expect to see them in the United States any time soon.

A group of Claas dealers from Canada and the United States returned last week from a trip to Leipzig, Germany, where they got a preview of the latest technology the company has to offer, including a brand new Claas-designed tractor model.

The trip was centered around "World Claas 2006, an event staged by Claas every four years or so to update dealers and customers on the Claas line of farm equipment. Over the course of three weeks nearly 12,000, representing 25 countries, were treated to a multi-media show and working field demonstrations of combines, forage harvesters, disc mowers, tedders, tractors and related equipment.

The Axion comes in models with from 163 to 225 hp. However, an additional 30 hp can be achieved through a

Claas Power Management system.

Claas is a 93-year-old family-owned company founded in 1913 by August Claas and his brothers. In 1934, Claas manufactured its first pick-up baler, followed by its first combine in 1936. Claas began marketing in North America in the 1960s, focusing on Canada. In 1979 Claas of America was formed to bring products such as forage harvesters, disc mowers and combines to all of North America.

Highlight of the Leipzig event was the opportunity to see the new Claas tractor line. Claas is known worldwide for its self-propelled forage harvesters, disc mowers, balers and combines but until recently did not have tractors in the line. Claas acquired the French tractor manufacturer Renault in 2003 and has produced several models several models under the Claas logo since. But just this year the company introduced the first 100% Claas-designed tractor – the Axion (163-225 hp).

Another tractor grabbing dealers' attention was the Claas Xerion 3300 – 300 hp four wheel drive tractor. The Xerion features a cab design that rotates 180 degrees in 30 seconds with the push of a button – all the while the operator remains in the seat.

While in some tractor cabs the seat can be rotated to operate the

tractor "from the rear", the entire cab of the Xerion rotates 180 degrees with the push of a button.

Claas is not ready to introduce their tractors to the North American market yet, however. "Claas does not have a distribution system in North America to handle tractors at this time," relates Theo Freye, Claas executive vice president. "When we bring a tractor to the United States, we want it to have the technical engineering to differentiate it from the others. We have plenty to do right now to fulfill the needs for forage harvesters and combines," he adds. "Claas will grow in North America step-by-step – to make sure we do it right."

For now, Claas will concentrate on growing its business in Eastern Europe.

Watch January issues of Farm Progress Publications for more details on the Claas dealer visit to Germany.

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