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

Remembering Reinhold Claas

CLAAS Honors a Life Well Lived

Last month, CLAAS lost a respected and quietly influential part of the family. On June 10, 2022, Reinhold Class passed away at the age of 91. He was the third child of company founder August Claas and his wife Paula. He was the last shareholder of the second generation of the Claas family. Reinhold was a long-standing member of the Shareholders Committee and Supervisory Board of the CLAAS Group.

“All those who knew Reinhold Claas appreciated him for his friendly and modest manner,” says Thomas Böck, CEO of CLAAS. “People and the well-being of the family business always came first for him. Through his actions in important phases of the company’s history, he made a significant contribution to our success today.”

Together with his brother Helmut, he joined the company in 1957. The brothers were instrumental in building up the company in the post-World War II era. Reinhold’s focus was developing balers and forage harvesters. He was responsible for setting up baler production at the newly built factory in Metz, France, and until 1970 he expanded the site and developed it to its current size.

In 1969, he was also the driving force behind the takeover of forage harvest machine specialist Josef Bautz GmbH in Bad Saulagau, Germany. He was the managing director of the newly acquired facility for many years and developed this affiliate into a successful division.

An Entrepreneurial Spirit

Reinhold was also a successful entrepreneur outside the family business. The same year he joined CLAAS, he took over two ball-bearing companies - one in Fribourg, Switzerland with 250 employees and another in Munderkingen in Southwestern Germany with 550 employees. He managed both companies until the 1990’s.

During this time, he also applied for more than 40 patents.

Personal Notes

  • Reinhold graduated in 1958 from Darmstadt Technical University as an industrial engineer. True to form, he was one of the first graduates of this new interdisciplinary course of study, which included mechanical engineering and business administration.
  • Reinhold was involved in many clubs and organizations, especially in football and handball, where he excelled. His great passion was hunting.
  • He and his wife Doris had two sons, Volker and Rüdiger. Doris passed in 2005 and his son Volker sadly passed earlier this year. 
  • Rüdiger is the third generation of the family to sit on the advisory board at the CLAAS Group.

Please join the CLAAS family in honoring the memory of Reinhold Claas. His contributions and legacy will be remembered for years to come.

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