CLAAS, the leading European manufacturer of agricultural machinery,
has raised its stake in French Renault Agriculture SAS a further
29 %, resulting in an 80 % ownership of the French tractor producer.
the last two years, the co-operation between CLAAS and Renault
Agriculture has been a mutual success, mainly due to the international
sales development, resulting in a steep increase of tractor production
in Le Mans and major modernisation projects for the site.
In February 2003, Renault signed an agreement with the German CLAAS
group concerning Renault Agriculture. CLAAS then became the majority
shareholder by acquiring 51 % equity stake, with Renault SAS retaining
49 %. The strategic deal was guided by the complementarities of
both company's products, technologies, markets and capacity
to move into new markets.
The re-organisation of the sales network and the launch of the
CLAAS tractor brand resulted in a significant growth in tractor
sales in the following 2 years, mainly due to the increasing sales
abroad, as well as keeping the strong market position in France.
2005 in total, cross border sales rose by 22 %.
This led to an increase of production volume. The company's
production unit in Le Mans has raised its production volumes by
over 25 % in the last 2 years. At the same time approximately 300
new employees have been recruited within production and R&D
in the last two years. Moreover, the tractor division has achieved
a threefold improvement in product quality, reliability and productivity,
and a strong rise of its R&D investments. The renewal of the
Products portfolio will be maintained at an increasingly rapid
The CLAAS tractor division received recognition for its rising
standards when in November 2005 the new ARES tractor was awarded “The
Golden Tractor - Best design of the year”, and the NECTIS
tractor was elected “Tractor of the Year- Best specialised
tractor” by a jury of selected European agricultural journalists.
These prices reflect the positive development of the Claas tractor
unit, expected to further enhance its success in the coming year.
At the same time, the entire harvest machinery business has benefited
from the successful integration of tractor business. For example,
2004 was the first year that CLAAS became market leader for combine
harvesters in France following the takeover of the CRA dealer network,
and in 2005 CLAAS has strengthened this leading position following
the successful introduction of CLAAS tractors in France.
additions to the CLAAS tractor range
Claas Lexion 600 takes combining to new output levels
new additions to the CLAAS 2006 combine line-up