After a 1-year hiatus, and back by request, we’re revisiting the highly popular series, How We Did It, Conversations with Ag Equipment’s Entrepreneurs to introduce you to the story of the family owned manufacturer Claas. A global combine and forage equipment manufacturer based in Germany Claas says it’s coming into the American market in a big way with its tractor to, as they’ve said, double their business here within just a few years.
Today’s recording is with Cathrina Claas Muhlhauser, a voice that perhaps few have heard from to date on this continent. She is only the 3rd person to serve as the top executive of the company in its 100-plus years history, preceded by her late grandfather and founder August Claas, and father Helmut Claas. We sat down with Cathrina last year, when we talked about prior attempts to entering the U.S., and how important the tractor will be to their eventual growth here as they look for dealer distribution that can earn most of its revenue from their new “seed green” colors.
Claas is not on the New York Stock Exchange, Cathrina says, so she can afford to look 10 years into the future, saying, "it will take as long as it takes."
Cathrina has accepted the torch -- as the face of the company -- from her 93-year-old father Helmut, who is still seen at the Harsewinkel, Germany headquarters, such as when Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and his trade delegation visited in mid November 2019. During that same week in Germany, Editor/Publisher Mike Lessiter sat face to face with Cathrina during a private meeting at Agritechnica, before rejoining dealers and farmers touring the company’s German and French manufacturing plants.
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