Caterpillar Inc. announces it will begin independently designing and manufacturing its vocational truck product family at its plant in Victoria, TX. The plant, which opened in 2012, currently produces hydraulic excavators.
"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," says 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."
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.
"We appreciate the collaboration we have had with Navistar," Chadwick says. "As we look to future launches of new truck models, this updated strategy will better position us to help provide our customers with the best products and services for this market. Caterpillar continues to drive the design phase of all models, both current and planned. Before launching the product, we spent hundreds of hours on the road with customers, asking them to describe the ideal truck. We know what they want and need – from functionality of the truck itself to comfort in the cab. We plan to meet and exceed those expectations as we grow this product offering to fulfill our customers' needs."
The 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.
"Caterpillar Victoria is proud to be a part of this opportunity," comments Ed O'Neil, General Manager for Operations for the Excavation Division. "The Victoria facility was selected because of our team's proven record of building high-quality Cat products, our commitment to safety and our successful implementation of the Caterpillar Production System and Lean manufacturing. In addition, support from the community and its excellent skilled workforce, as well as the proximity to suppliers, also contributed to the sourcing decision."
Caterpillar dealers will continue to sell and support Cat vocational trucks.