Krasnodar / Harsewinkel.Claas, one of the world's leading manufacturers of agricultural machinery, opened the new factory in the suburbs of Krasnodar in South Russia with a number of notable politicians in attendance. The new factory will provide the Russian Federation with modern, high-tech combine harvesters in the future. Dr Ralf Bendisch is the CEO of the Russian division Claas Krasnodar .
Helmut Claas, Chairman of the supervisory board of the Claas group, highlighted the importance of the Russian market for the company during the opening ceremony. Additionally, the strong agricultural - region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea with its excellent soil conditions is ideal for crop production and the use of Claas machinery.
The Russian Minister of Agriculture, Alexej Gordejev said: “The Claas technology in use on our Russian fields is amongst the highest available. It will give a new impulse to the economic efficiency of Russian agriculture.”
The German ambassador in Russia, Dr. Hans Friedrich von Ploetz, was also among the 300 invitees. He stated: “Claas is an ideal example of a German family business operating in the Russian market. Such medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the German economy.”
Dr. Gerhard von Thalheim, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, emphasised the importance of western technology for the modern Russian food production.
Governor Alexander Tkatchev was the spokesperson for the Krasnodar region. He pointed out that because of the investment of Claas in his region, modern jobs and added value for the country are created, due to the increasing supply of components from Russian companies.
Nikolaus Feil, CLAAS Executive Vice President of the agricultural machinery division, explained how the production in Krasnodar will be structured. “In the first step, the combines will be assembled here with components from Germany. However, the goal is to create a significant rise in the added value of Russia. 1,000 machines can be produced in Russia each year.
Why does Claas invest in Russia?
The Claas Group has invested 20 million Euros in the construction and operation of the combine harvester production plant. If the business develops successfully, the investments could grow to over 30 million Euros within the next few years. Over 200 MEGA 350 and MEGA 360 combines will be built in Krasnodar for the 2005 harvest.
The factory in Russia is part of an international production network, supplying the Russian Federation with modern, high-tech combine harvesters. This creates jobs in Russia, and in addition improves the production quality in Russian agriculture.
It also generates additional volumes in the German Claas production plant, as the majority of components for the agricultural machinery are produced in Germany and end up on-site in Krasnodar for final assembly. The new company is therefore of mutual benefit to both Germany and Russia.
Claas in Russia since 1992
Claas has been successfully involved in the markets of the Russian Federation since 1992, with its own representation in Moscow, backed up by a highly developed service and distribution network. The German company has operated a central spare parts store through the company Claas Vostok since 1999. It supports the dealer network, which works very closely with the customers, providing service and spare parts quickly and reliably.
To be in a position to further improve the supply of modern machinery to Russian agriculture, the next step will be to build a factory for the production of combine harvesters.
The framework investment agreement between Krasnodar management and Claas is a leading project for German-Russian co-operation. With its new production facilities, Claas is underlining its intention to participate over the long term in the development of Russian agriculture.
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