Claas will be investing around EUR 40 million over the next few years in rebuilding its forage harvesting division Bad Saulgau, Germany. The core objective is to adjust production capacities to meet increasing demand and further future growth.
Bad Saulgau is the “centre of excellence” in the Claas Group for the forage harvesting process chain, from mowing through to the crop flow of the Jaguar. The site has developed considerably over recent years and has continued to increase its turnover despite the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of an ongoing investment programme, the infrastructure of the site is currently being expanded and upgraded, while an existing 5000 m2 hall is being redesigned in order to create additional assembly space. In parallel, the entire energy infrastructure is being adapted and upgraded over several stages to meet future production capacity. This will be followed by investments in the areas of production logistics and assembly optimisation. The total sum of the investments comes to around 40 million euros.
Focus on growth segments
The success of Claas products intended for professional forage harvesting technology and, most importantly, the positive sales forecasts for the new Orbis row-crop headers, mean that the structure of the site in Bad Saulgau has to be adapted. “We are continuing to observe an unbroken trend towards professional harvesting technology and enjoy an excellent positioning here with many product lines,” reports Uli Nickol, Head of the Claas Forage Harvesting Division and Managing Director at Claas Saulgau GmbH and Claas Material Handling GmbH. “An example of this is the enormous demand for our new Orbis row-crop headers, especially the new Orbis 900, which has significantly exceeded our expectations. In addition to technology for the harvesting chain based around the forage harvester, Claas will also be expanding, modernising and continuing to professionalise its range of mowers, tedders, swathers and balers with many new products over the next few years. Many new innovations are currently being developed and tested to achieve this.”
Claas will therefore further consolidate its position as manufacturer when it comes to forage harvesters and as manufacturer and suppliers of mowers, tedders, swathers and balers. Only recently, a brand new generation of Liner 4-rotor swathers with patented cardanic system and frame design was introduced, which was met with enormous interest from farmers and contractors worldwide. Another new highlight in the mower segment is the Disco 4400 vector folding system, which was also recently unveiled. “The investments in the Bad Saulgau site aim to ensure that our expectations for growth are supported by high-performance production at the highest level of quality”, Nickol adds. “Furthermore, new requirements in terms of documentation and the high-impact harvesting of renewable raw materials for energy production are resulting in an increasing demand for harvesting chains featuring yield and content detection via NIRS technology, something we are ideally suited to meet with the Jaguar.”
Cargos production comes to an end
The long-term development of the product range has been consistently adjusted to global trends and the growth strategy at Claas. It is evident in this context that the self-loading wagon harvesting method is becoming progressively less important than the forage harvester, and that unit sales are continuing to decline globally. This means that the loader wagon segment is evolving even more than before into a shrinking niche market sector with a regional focus. It is for this reason that Claas has decided to discontinue the production of loader and forage transport wagons at the end of the 2022 season, thereby creating additional capacity for Orbis production. The Claas service when it comes to the supply of spare parts and customer service for the Cargos series will continue to be guaranteed as usual in the future.
Ongoing service issues continue to be professionally addressed with the support of product development from Bad Saulgau.