Caterpillar this week announced plans to build a wheel-loader factory and a proving ground in Tongzhou, China.
The company said the proving ground will provide validation and product-development services for Caterpillar machinery produced in China and the Asia/Pacific region.
The proving ground will improve Cat's ability "to compete and support its growing customer base in China and across Asia," said Tana Utley, Caterpillar vice president and chief technology officer with responsibility for its Product Development and Global Technology Division.
The manufacturing facility will produce a new model of wheel loader that is being developed at Caterpillar's Wuxi Research and Development Center.
The large wheel loader is designed for mining applications in China and other growth markets, said Luis de Leon, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Mining Products Division.
"By locating the wheel-loader facility with the proving ground and near several other Caterpillar operations and our supply base, we will leverage Caterpillar's total business model to speed product-development cycle times with unmatched engineering and supply chain support," de Leon added.
Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar expects the proving ground to be operational in the third quarter of 2012.
The company expects the wheel-loader facility to start production in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The site in Tongzhou is close to several of Caterpillar's existing manufacturing facilities in China, as well as near the majority of the company's existing supply base in China, Caterpillar noted.
Caterpillar has 16 manufacturing facilities, three R&D centers and three logistics and parts centers in China.
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