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The latest brochures, stories, photos, videos and other current information on the people and products of CLAAS.

Media Center

The latest brochures, stories, photos, videos and other current information on the people and products of CLAAS.

More than 500,000 Success Stories: 

CLAAS celebrates half a million combine harvesters

CLAAS is celebrating the production of a half million combine harvesters built since 1936. To celebrate the occasion, the company has produced several “special anniversary edition” machines at three production facilities on three different continents. Two anniversary machines (LEXION combines) have rolled off the production line in Omaha, Nebraska, bound for farms in the US and Canada. These specially badged machines will be on display at trade shows, field days and demonstrations in the coming weeks and months.

Early pioneer of combine harvester production

CLAAS has been one of the key pacesetters in combine harvester development for many decades. From 1936 onwards, the Harsewinkel, Germany-based family company produced grain harvesting equipment in Europe starting with a machine known as a mowing-threshing-binder, or M.D.B. for short. In 1946 CLAAS took a big step forward with the SUPER series, which was much more refined than its predecessor. As the series evolved, it was available with add-on engines starting in 1953 and with a hydraulic cutting unit drive starting in 1958, under its new moniker SUPER AUTOMATIC. More than 60,000 copies of the SUPER were marketed worldwide, even finding buyers in Canada and Uruguay.

In 1953, the family company successfully entered the self-propelled combine harvester segment with the HERCULES, which was later renamed SF. In 1961, the MATADOR GIGANT set new standards with a cutting bar width of up to 6 m. Other industry-defining milestones of the 1960s included well-known names such as SENATOR, COMET, COSMOS, CORSAR, MERCATOR and COMPACT.

In 1972, the DOMINATOR series opened a new era that has lasted more than 50 years to this day. CLAAS consolidated its status as the European market leader, particularly with the DOMINATOR 6 and DOMINATOR 8 series, and introduced innovations such as 3D cleaning, the AUTO CONTOUR cutting unit guidance and the MEGA threshing unit. The DOMINATOR CS with cylinder separation was launched in 1981. Rebadged the COMMANDOR CS in 1986, the DOMINATOR CS and COMMANDOR CS were among the most powerful combine harvesters in the world at the time and were first delivered with rubber tracks in 1987.

At Agritechnica 1995, the LEXION 480 with groundbreaking APS hybrid technology was not only the highlight of the trade show, but also a game changer in terms of performance, comfort and groundbreaking electronic applications for the emerging precision farming era. Since 1997, the ground-protecting TERRA TRAC chassis technology on the LEXION combine has been a defining characteristic yet to be equaled.

The latest members of the CLAAS combine harvester family are the TRION and EVION series, introduced in 2021 and 2023. While the EVION was developed for other markets, the TRION 740 made its North American debut in 2022 as a complement to the LEXION series that has been sold here for the last 25 years.  

More than 500,000 Success Stories:

A strong foundation of experience and future readiness

With around 100,000 and 75,000 units respectively, DOMINATOR and LEXION account for the largest share of the 500,000 CLAAS combine harvesters built to date. SUPER and SUPER AUTOMATIC (approx. 65,000 units) as well as EUROPA and COLUMBUS (together approx. 60,000 combine harvesters) and the TUCANO (approx. 35,000 units) also contributed significant numbers to the global success of the CLAAS combine harvesters. Series built in smaller numbers, such as the COMMANDOR TERRA TRAC, were also drivers of progress and have had a significant impact on the genetics of today's CLAAS combine harvesters. 

A colorful start in North America

Over the years, many combines made their way onto US and Canadian farms under different names and in different colors. From 1960-1970, CLAAS was the OEM responsible for the production of the blue FORD 622 and 642 combines available for sale throughout North America. In 1989, CLAAS signed an agreement with Massey Ferguson where the DOMINATOR 98 and 108 were available in Massey Ferguson red and known as the MF 8450 and 8460. In 1997, CLAAS and Caterpillar formed a joint venture to manufacture and retail LEXION combine harvesters together. While the LEXION name was retained, it was the Caterpillar brand that dominated the machine with the Caterpillar (and later, CAT) name on the side and Caterpillar yellow and black paint.

International production network

Since 1992, CLAAS combine harvesters have no longer been manufactured exclusively at the Harsewinkel, Germany headquarters. That year, the first CLAAS CROP TIGER rolled off the assembly line in India, of which more than 10,000 units were produced. Since 2001, CLAAS has also been producing LEXION hybrid combine harvesters for the North American market in Omaha, Nebraska. Shortly after opening as a joint venture between CLAAS and Caterpillar, CAT exited the market and CLAAS took full ownership of the production facilities. North American LEXION combines – many of which continued to be sold through Caterpillar dealers – retained the CAT yellow and black color scheme until 2019.   

Anniversary machines for demonstrations and trade shows 

The special anniversary design is an homage to the CLAAS combine harvester product history: The silver metallic color represents the beginnings of CLAAS combine harvester production up to 1968, the seed green metallic represents the well-known CLAAS color scheme introduced in 1978 with the DOMINATOR. Knotting pattern in the CLAAS letters on both sides of the anniversary machines reference the old CLAAS shape logo with the CLAAS knotter hook - the first CLAAS patent from 1913.

“500,000 CLAAS Success Stories – this motto combines several important messages and statements for CLAAS,” explains Jan-Hendrik Mohr, CLAAS CEO. “First: the global roll-out of the anniversary machines. Second: Our international competence and production network. And thirdly, we are underlining the international success of CLAAS combine harvesters since production began in 1936.”

Customers can participate in the anniversary for the next harvest season with a Sales Edition, which, in addition to certain equipment features, is characterized by decals on the side panels. All CLAAS combine harvesters from the 2025 product year will also receive a sticker on the cabin door. 

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