Claas winds down combine plant

The ongoing spread of the Corona (Covid-19) virus and increasing restrictions within the supply chain has forced Claas to temporarily halt its combine assembly line at Harsewinkel in Germany.

by Steven Vale

24 Mar 2020

Production will be scaled down in a controlled manner until the end of next week and initially suspended for three weeks until April 17.

“We are prepared and can act, as a family business, after the experiences in China, Italy, France and other countries, from a position of strength,” explains Claas CEO Thomas Böck, who adds that production is being reduced in a controlled manner.

Currently, an agreement on short-time work and short-time compensation is being drawn up with the employees at the plant and the controlled reduction in series production is being initiated.

“We will provide as many machines as possible to the market,” adds Mr Böck. “At present, a broad range of new and used machinery that are available at our dealers will help us.”

While many national and international Claas locations continue to work, production in France began scaling back last week. Despite difficult conditions, other Claas divisions continue to function. This includes machine and spare parts production, shipment, reconstruction and finishing.

Claas in the UK & Ireland

A statement issued by Claas UK CEO Trevor Tyrrell reads ‘Farming is recognised as an essential industry employing key workers therefore Claas and our dealers will continue to operate all of our parts, workshop, sales & delivery services as normal, whilst complying fully with the government guidelines.

Eight of the 10 factories across Europe that supply Claas UK & Ireland are now entering a controlled shutdown period of either two or three weeks, but most shipping departments remain open to allow all produced machines to reach customers.

In addition, the Claas Academy at Saxham is closed for external visitors until Monday May 4, and in the meantime online and digital training will be made available wherever possible.

The parts department at Saxham is now in lockdown mode and will maintain a continuous parts and service operation to our customers and dealers over the coming months.

The rest of Claas UK & Ireland is in shutdown mode with all vulnerable and non-essential employees working from home. They are fully equipped with laptop computers, mobile phones and Skype and all usual business activities will continue. 

Customers should be reassured that Claas and our 80 dealer branches in UK & Ireland are ready to continue providing a full parts & service backup despite the current partial-shutdown. Customers are encouraged to phone ahead so that all parts and service operations can be completed in a ‘contactless’ manner.’