Claas has recently announced the passing of Reinhold Claas, the last remaining son of August Claas, the company’s founder.

Reinhold, a long-standing member of the Shareholders Committee and Supervisory Board of the Claas Group, passed away on 7 June 2022 at the age of 91.

Reinhold Claas was the third child of August and Paula Claas.

Together with his brother Helmut Claas, he played a sizeable role in building up the company after the second world war.

With him, the last shareholder of the second family generation passes away.

In his early years, Reinhold studied at Darmstadt Technical University where he graduated as an industrial engineer in 1958 having joined the company with his brother Helmut in July 1957.

His main focus was on the development of balers and forage harvesters. Among other things, he was responsible for setting up baler production at the newly built factory in Metz, France. In the 1970s, he expanded the production site and developed it to its current size. He was also the driving force behind the takeover of the renowned specialist for forage harvesting machines, the former Josef Bautz GmbH in Bad Saulgau, which joined Claas in 1969.

Reinhold was also active as an entrepreneur outside the family business: in 1958 he took over two ball bearing companies - one in Fribourg, Switzerland, with 250 employees, and another in Munderkingen, Swabia, with 550 employees. He managed both companies until the 1990s.

During his active time, he also applied for a patent for more than 40 inventions.

Reinhold went on to have two sons, Volker and Rüdiger Claas. The early death of his son Volker in January 2022 at the age of 57 hit him particularly hard.

Most recently, Reinhold Claas held a seat on the Supervisory Board and two advisory boards.

In the Claas Group, his son Rüdiger Claas is now the third generation to succeed his father.