Business, Finance & Economics

Caterpillar moving factory from Japan to North America


Caterpillar 2009 Challenger MT765C farm tractors sit on on the docks of the Port of Baltimore's Dundalk Terminal in Baltimore, Md., waiting to be loaded onto ships for export, on Aug. 27, 2009.



Caterpillar Inc. said Friday that it plans to move production of small tractors and mini hydraulic excavators from Japan to a new factory it will build in North America, The Associated Press reported.

"The markets for smaller track-type tractors and mini-excavators have evolved significantly in the past 30 years, with the majority of customers now located in North America and Europe," Mary Bell, vice president for Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar's Building Construction Products division, said in a statement, the Wall Street Journal reported. "Producing these machines at a North American location will put us in the best possible position to serve our customers in the building construction industry."

The new plant in North America is expected to employ 1,000 workers, the AP reported. Officials at Caterpillar, the biggest construction and mining equipment maker in the world, said they would choose the plant's location by the end of the year and start construction in the first half of 2012, MarketWatch reported.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Caterpillar's announcement of a new plant without naming a location will likely set off an intense competition between US states hungry for manufacturing jobs. States interested in hosting plant can be expected to offer the company incentive-laden aid packages with tax breaks and government grants for training new employees.

In recent years, Caterpillar has built almost all of its new factories in the United States in the South, particularly Texas and North Carolina, where the company's Building Construction Products division is based, the Wall Street Journal noted.

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