Cat Aims to Move Production Facility from Japan to North America

By WEEK Reporter

Cat Aims to Move Production Facility from Japan to North America

November 11, 2011 Updated Nov 11, 2011 at 12:01 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- Big Yellow has taken the first step in moving a production facility from Japan back to North America.

Caterpillar, Inc. announced Friday its strategic plans to relocate production as a part of an ongoing effort to bring the manufacturing facility where the need is greatest.  Cat says demand for small track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators is greatest in North America and Europe. 

"The markets for smaller track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators have evolved significantly in the past 30 years, with the majority of customers now located in North America and Europe," said Building Construction Products Vice President Mary Bell.  "Producing machines at a North American location will put us in the best possible position to serve our customers in the building construction industry."

When the new North American plant is fully operational, it is expected to employ more than 1,000 people. Though the mini-excavator and track-type tractor assembly role will be shifted to this facility, the Japan base will transition to a high-tech component facility. 

Bell says the facility's location has not been determined yet, but states the final decision should come by the end of this year.

Construction for the North American facility is tentatively scheduled for the beginning of 2012.