A new wheel loader manufacturing facility will be built in the Suzhou Industrial Park in China's Jiangsu province. Caterpillar intends to begin construction of the 350,000-square-foot building in early 2007 pending appropriate governmental approvals.
"This facility will add to Caterpillar's growing operations in China and provide the primary manufacturing source for Caterpillar wheel loaders in the Asia Theater," said Rich Lavin, vice president of operations for Caterpillar's asia pacific division. " This site offers Caterpillar a business-friendly environment with excellent access to port and ground transportation facilities, established suppliers and great people."
Caterpillar operates 13 China-based facilities which manufacture products including: hydraulic excavators, track-type tractors, motor graders and paving products, large diesel engines used primarily for marine and power generation applications and generator sets for use in China and the Asia Pacific region. Caterpillar also manufactures components at several facilities in China. In addition, Caterpillar holds a minority stake in Shandong SEM Machinery Co., Ltd. (SEM), one of China's leading wheel loader manufacturers.
In the 1980s, Caterpillar launched technology transfer agreements with Chinese manufacturers who began building Caterpillar licensed products. Caterpillar's expansion in China accelerated in the early 1990s with the establishment of a more significant local production strategy.