CLAAS, the international agricultural machinery company, maintained the high level of sales achieved in the previous year in a significantly smaller overall market. Total sales were €3823.0 million (previous year €3824.6 million).
Harsewinkel / Düsseldorf. Income before tax was impaired by increased costs due to the switchover to new engine emissions standards and by events in Eastern Europe, reaching a figure of €155.1 million (previous year €295.3 million). CLAAS achieved a return on sales of 4.1 % (previous year: 7.7 %).
Agricultural machinery company successful despite difficult market conditions.
Stable sales of €3823 million in declining overall market
Income before tax of €155 million
Return on sales 4.1 %
Acquisition in China strengthens competitive position in Asia
High level of investment in research and development
Outlook for 2015: Sales and profit at level of previous year
"In 2014, we remained successful despite the difficult economic and geopolitical circumstances and were able to further expand our market share in key products such as combine harvesters and tractors. At the same time, great progress was made on the internationalisation of CLAAS", said Lothar Kriszun, Spokesman of the CLAAS Executive Board.
Growth remained subdued, particularly in Western Europe. The Eastern Europe and Latin American markets deteriorated in the 2014 financial year as a result of economic and political uncertainty. Compared to the previous year, agricultural machinery markets were also down in Asia and North America. Further complicating the situation were worldwide reductions in commodity prices, which noticeably reduced the willingness of the agricultural sector to invest. Despite this, sales at CLAAS remained stable. Developments in Asia and North America were particularly positive.
Greater internationalisation, high level of investment in research and development
CLAAS has continued to invest in developing its international structures and expanding its product portfolio in order to further develop its market presence. In China, the largest and fastest-growing agricultural machinery market in Asia, the takeover of Shandong Jinyee Machinery Manufacturing Co. Ltd. with around 1200 employees was successfully completed in January 2014. The new CLAAS company contributed to a significant increase in sales in Asia.
The number of people employed by the company worldwide thus increased to 11,407 as at 30 September 2014 (previous year: 9697). Following this takeover, one in ten employees of the company is now based in China. This means that, for the first time, CLAAS now employs more people outside Germany (54.5%) than inside its home country (previous year: 48.7%). In the autumn, the new management structure of the sales division was implemented with its six world regions. This structure will allow CLAAS to cater more effectively to its customers and better utilise the opportunities for development in the individual markets.
With a figure of €212.3 million (previous year: €197.0 million), investment in research and development was also increased. In relation to sales, the proportion of investment in research and development was 5.6% (previous year: 5.2%) and thus remained at a high level. The areas of emphasis were new models and further developments to harvesting machines and tractors. In addition, there has been an ongoing effort to convert engine technology to comply with the new statutory emissions standards.
Members of the CLAAS Executive Board at the 2014 Results Conference in Düsseldorf (from left): Hans Lampert (Finance and Controlling), Lothar Kriszun (Speaker of the CLAAS Executive Board, responsible for tractors), Jan-Hendrik Mohr (Sales).
The CLAAS Group in figures
2014 in € million
2013 in € million
Change in %
Gross profit on sales
Income before tax
Net group income
Free cash flow
Investments in material assets
Balance sheet total
Employees on cutoff date (30.9.)
The long-term market drivers affecting the agricultural machinery sector remain intact. Demand for agricultural commodities as a result of population growth, energy policy, industrial usage and increasing prosperity is continuing to rise. CLAAS will therefore continue to invest consistently in developing its international business. These investments include, among others, the expansion of the sales and service network and completion of the new plant in Krasnodar, which will allow CLAAS to make an important contribution to the ongoing modernisation of the Russian agricultural sector.
CLAAS is expecting the market downturn to continue during the 2015 financial year. The effects of the political and economic circumstances in countries such as the Ukraine, Russia or Argentina and their consequences for the markets in Eastern Europe and Latin America are difficult to predict at the current time. Overall, worldwide production of agricultural machinery will not reach the high level of the previous year in 2015. Nevertheless, CLAAS expects its sales and profits in the current financial year to remain roughly at the level of the previous year thanks to its attractive product range and good international positioning.
New: ATOS 200/300 - Wide product range for a wide market segment
CLAAS has introduced a completely new tractor model series for the power segment up to 140 hp. The new ATOS, which is available in both 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder variants, includes a total of 6 models that range in power from 76 to 109 hp, and fits in between the ARION 400, AXOS, ELIOS and NEXOS model series.
With the new ATOS, CLAAS has revised and expanded its product range in the power sector below 140 hp. With a total of 10 different models and 51 variants ranging from 72 to 530 hp, CLAAS is now able to offer its sales partners and customers the largest range of tractors it has ever offered in its history.
The ATOS is characteristic on account of its simple and robust technology for day-to-day operations and, thanks to numerous equipment and expansion options, this makes it a versatile tractor for any type of use and customer. The tractor was introduced to the public for the first time at the 2014 Eima agricultural machinery trade fair held in Italy.
They presented the new ATOS tractor at the EIMA show (Bologna), from the left: Gilles Mayer (Director Marketing & Sales, CLAAS Tractor), Paolo Tencone (Managing Director CLAAS Italia) and Lothar Kriszun (Speaker of the CLAAS Executive Board).
Max. power* (kW/hp)
Max. torque (Nm)
Max. power* (kW/hp)
Max. torque (Nm)
* As per ECE R 120
A "True CLAAS"
The new ATOS follows the modern, yet functional, CLAAS design and so fits seamlessly into the large CLAAS tractor family. With its compact dimensions, the ATOS is extremely manoeuvrable and ideal for all kinds of farm work.
Large range of power options with four and three-cylinder engines
The ATOS is powered by a Stage IIIb/Tier 4i-compliant engine. The 300 series uses a 4 cylinder engine that has a 3.8 l displacement, whilst the 200 Series has a 3 cylinder engine, with a 2.9 l displacement. The engines feature a common rail injection system, turbocharger and charge air cooler. Exhaust after treatment is carried out by a diesel oxidation catalytic converter (DOC). Cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system ensures maximum efficiency.
The catalytic converter is integrated under the bonnet leaving clear all-round visibility. High torque values of up to 436 Nm mean that the ATOS is extremely responsive to drive. The fuel tank holds up to 145 l and the standard equipment also includes an engine speed memory function.
Wide range of transmission options
With three different variants, CLAAS offers a transmission to suit every customer. The range includes a standard manual transmission for basic applications, the TWINSHIFT transmission with two powershift speeds or the TRISHIFT transmission with three powershift speeds. All transmission variants are available with either a mechanical reverser or the REVERSHIFT clutchless variant.
Three power take-off options are also available for the ATOS with the following speeds:
540 and 540 ECO
540/540 ECO, 1000 and 1000 ECO.
An automatic power take-off system and a separate groundspeed power take-off for powering trailers are also available optionally.
New: SMART STOP
A special feature of the ATOS is the new SMART STOP function for the transmission when equipped with REVERSHIFT. When activated, using a button on the dashboard, the system automatically de-clutches when the brake pedal is depressed. Stopping and starting is carried out solely using the brake pedal. This makes SMART STOP ideal for repetitive actions around the yard, especially when using a front loader, and equally in the field, for instance when round baling. The SMART STOP function shuts off automatically at higher speeds.
The ATOS can be equipped ex-factory with a fully integrated 1.9t capacity front linkage. The front linkage console can be operated either with the mechanical PROPILOT control system or the hydraulic FLEXPILOT control system. The rear linkage can also be controlled mechanically or electronically as an option. The ATOS 300 has a maximum lift capacity of 4.8 t at the rear, while the ATOS 200 can lift up to 3.6 t.
The standard hydraulic pump has an output of 55 l/min. The ECO option provides an increased hydraulic output of 60 l/min at a reduced engine speed of 1600 rpm – thus lowering fuel consumption. A total of four spool valves are available.
The ATOS is available in both two- and four-wheel drive variants across all models. The maximum tyre size for the ATOS 300 is 38", and for the ATOS 200 the maximum size is 34".
The new ATOS is equipped with a comfortable four-pillar cab, which provides excellent all-round visibility of the working area. Furthermore, all of the functions are clearly arranged within the cab. The doors open over a wide range, making it easy to enter and exit the cab. Thanks to the glass roof hatch, the driver always has a good view over the front loader and ensuring they can work safely and accurately at all times.
Inauguration of CLAAS Latin America in Porto Alegre
New CLAAS regional center in Latin America
Harsewinkel / Porto Alegre (Brazil). CLAAS continues expanding its business in Latin America. In Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, the new CLAAS Latin America regional center was inaugurated on November 1, 2014.
With a new sales and service team, Latin American importers and new partners in Brazil will now have more local support. Apart from the CLAAS subsidiary in Argentina, which is also responsible for Uruguay and Paraguay, the regional center will handle all other countries on the continent. Being close to the international airport in Porto Alegre will also be very useful for this purpose.
Guests at the ceremony included consul general Dr. Stefan Traumann, from the German consulate in Porto Alegre and the Agricultural Attaché from the German Embassy, Martin Nissen.
On the CLAAS side, the new center was inaugurated by Regional President of the Americas, Leif Magnusson, and the Director of the new center, Leandro J. Henz.
Porto Alegre is the Rio Grande do Sul state capital, and has 1.4 million inhabitants. Forty-six percent of all agricultural machines in Brazil are produced in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is also very prominent in milk production.