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Mr Mayer, you're presenting another new large tractor at SIMA in the form of the new AXION 900. How satisfied are you with the test results so far?
G. Mayer: The new AXION 900 is the ideal complement to the CLAAS range of large tractors. All the test activities we've conducted to date have been as thorough and demanding as you would expect for this category. We are very satisfied. All the farmers have given us extremely positive feedback on its performance in a very diverse range of applications. The quality is right on target and many of our test users have been surprised at such high tractive force in this category. As our customers are also telling us that the fuel consumption figures are very good, we can say that our concept is a complete success. And on top of all this there's also the high standard of comfort of the new cab. Spring 2012 will see the new AXION available in the market.
Apart from the AXION 900, are there any other new developments at the tractor plant in Le Mans, France?
G. Mayer: Yes, we have invested a great deal. The details of our processes have been analysed and have undergone further optimisation. The new painting facility, which went into use last year, is a case in point. All the CLAAS tractor parts which require painting are pretreated and given a protective surface coating in accordance with the latest technical processes. Along with all the other benefits this brings, it's good for the environment.
What about the future? Will there be more investment?
G. Mayer: I can answer that with an emphatic yes. The outlook is for a continuing increase in sales. And, of course, our customers' expectations are increasing, too. The new AXION makes this quite clear. This is why we have just completed the plans for a new, large test and validation centre near the factory in Le Mans. We shall be investing some 9.2 million euros here in what is certain to be another important milestone for our future development activities.