Caterpillar opens manufacturing campus in Wuxi, China

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

As part of a long-term strategic plan to support manufacturing growth in China and at its operations around the world, executives with Caterpillar Inc. celebrated on May 9 the grand opening of new manufacturing operations in Wuxi, China. Located in Jiangsu province in East China, the Wuxi campus includes nearly 47 acres (19 hectares) and will be home to Caterpillar (China) Machinery Components Company Ltd. (CCMC), a wholly owned Caterpillar company. CCMC will manufacture a range of components to be used primarily in Caterpillar machines and to be sold to select original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). CCMC is part of Caterpillar's Motion & Power Control Division, which has facilities located around the world.

"As demand for Caterpillar products continues to increase, the development of our operations in Wuxi will play an important role in supplying state-of-the-art, world-class components for the Caterpillar machines used by our customers and by discriminating OEMs," said Chris Schena, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Motion & Power Control Division.

The grand opening ceremony for the component manufacturing campus took place at Caterpillar's new 100,000-square-foot valve operations building, which is located in the Wuxi New District. Caterpillar has already begun hiring and training machinists, assemblers and other front office and support staff for the valve operations in Wuxi. Caterpillar has two additional operations located in the Wuxi New District. Using leased buildings, Caterpillar has produced hydraulic hose assemblies in Wuxi since mid-2006; since early 2007, it has fabricated and assembled cabs for core Caterpillar machines.

"Over the decades, Caterpillar has established manufacturing operations in every major currency zone to keep Caterpillar globally competitive while also ensuring faster delivery times for our customers around the world," said Rich Lavin, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for Asia Pacific Operations. "The establishment of the Wuxi campus for key components will be an important element in our enterprise strategy as we continue to support our growing customer base in China and other key Asian markets."

Jiangsu province is home to Caterpillar's flagship manufacturing facility in China, Caterpillar Xuzhou Limited. Caterpillar is also currently building a world-class wheel loader manufacturing facility in Suzhou, which is also located in Jiangsu province.

"The land we have in the Wuxi New District gives us room to expand our operations," said Schena. "It is ideally located within close range of key Caterpillar manufacturing operations in China, and it is also close to ports for exporting components to Caterpillar facilities in Asia and other regions."

Caterpillar core products manufactured in China include 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 Company Ltd. (SEM), one of China's leading wheel loader manufacturers.

In addition to its core machine, engine and component manufacturing locations in China, Caterpillar operations in China also include logistics, remanufacturing, financial leasing, training, marketing and research and development. Caterpillar's independent dealer network also provides sales and product support to customers across greater China.

Caterpillar has a long history in China. The company sold its first products there in 1975 and opened an office in Beijing in 1978. 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.

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