Caterpillar Reports Sales Surge

By Tom McIntyre

August 11, 2011 Updated Aug 11, 2011 at 1:15 PM CDT

Caterpillar worldwide retail sales of construction equipment surged higher in the three months to the end of April.

That sales increase was across the board, with North American sales increasing steadily for the three month period.

Caterpillar sales in Latin American rose by 72-percent, while there were strong increases shown in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Caterpillar Chief Financial Officer Edward Rapp credits the North American sales increase to contractors replacing older equipment, and dealers refreshing their rental fleets.

But Rapp gives the credit for the sales increase elsewhere in the world to "mass urbanization".

"This mass urbanization is real, I mean it's happening”, Rapp told reporters. “For the first time in history, there are more people living in cities than rural. And, as that happens, the demand back on basic infrastructure and commodities and oil and those things is just demand driven. And, that's very good for our business."

Rapp was speaking today to the Illinois Wesleyan Associates annual luncheon.

His advice for getting through tough economic times was to prepare for that inevitability and follow your plan when it happens.