In the US, Caterpillar has announced its intention to build its own trucks for the North American market, ending the manufacturing agreement with Navistar. Cat Trucks in Australia says it is keen to clarify the situation here. Navistar will continue to manufacture and develop Cat Trucks for the Australian market for the foreseeable future.
The overnight announcement in the US said Caterpillar will begin independently designing and manufacturing its vocational truck product family at its plant in Victoria, Texas. The plant, which opened in 2012, currently produces hydraulic excavators.
“The Cat-branded trucks supplied to Australian, New Zealand and Pacific markets are completely different models to the Cat vocational range which is a uniquely Caterpillar product,” said Glen Sharman, Director of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for Navistar Auspac. “The Cat trucks we offer here are developed specifically for our on-highway markets.
“The Cat Trucks range has evolved immensely since the Australian launch in 2010 with models like the CT630S, the CT630SC and most recently the CT630HD rated for road train triples applications. Navistar certainly wouldn’t be investing in development of these models if it saw anything other than a long and strong future for Cat-branded trucks in our markets.”
The US Cat Trucks operation has developed a completely different range from the trucks available here from the brand. Caterpillar launched its first vocational truck, the CT660, in the North American market in 2011. Two more models have since been added to the lineup, the CT680 and CT681. To date, Caterpillar has worked with Navistar for the products’ design and build, which are currently manufactured in Escobedo, Mexico.
“The on-highway vocational truck product family is important to our product line, customers like our trucks and want to include them in their fleets in a variety of heavy duty applications such as dump trucks, mixers, haulers or one of the other configurations we offer,” said Chris Chadwick, Caterpillar’s Director of the Global On-Highway Truck Group. “To continue to provide the best solution for our customers, we will bring the design and manufacturing of this product into Caterpillar, and the production specifically to Victoria. Our updated strategy reaffirms our commitment to grow and develop our presence in the vocational truck industry moving forward.”
The North American transition process will begin immediately, with production expected to begin in the first half of next year. Caterpillar Victoria will continue to produce excavators, and the addition of the vocational truck production is expected to add around 200 new jobs at the facility. US Cat dealers will continue to sell and support Cat vocational trucks.