Caterpillar to Increase Excavator Capacity in China

March 23, 2012
Expansions support long-term growth in the domestic market, OEM said

Caterpillar Inc. will increase hydraulic excavator production at Caterpillar Xuzhou Ltd. in Xuzhou, China, the plant that Caterpillar considers its “flagship” among 17 manufacturing operations in that country (with nine more under construction.) CXL, as it is called, is located about 300 miles northwest of Shanghai, and was established in 1994. Its main products are Cat 300 series excavators and track-type tractors.

The announcement did not include the value of Caterpillar’s investment, but the company said it would increase hydraulic excavator production there by 80% by 2016. The expansion remains subject to governmental approval, Caterpillar noted.

“As we have done around the world for more than 85 years, these investments in China are made with a long-term view toward the market and building out an industry-leading range of products and support services for our growing base of customers in China,” stated chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman.

In September 2010 Caterpillar announced a plan to produce mini-excavators in China with a new plant at Wujiang. Its also expanding mini-excavator production in North America with a $200-million plant under construction in Athens, Ga.

“Our continued investment in China also provides a base of operations in (that) country to support our growing exports from the United States to China. In fact, in the last seven years as we have grown our operations in China, Caterpillar’s exports from the United States to China have more than doubled, supporting jobs in the United States and proving the benefits of trade for both countries,” Oberhelman said.

In addition to hydraulic excavators, Caterpillar plans to begin producing wheeled excavators at CXL in early 2014. Those machines are now manufactured at a plant in Grenoble, France, and the new capacity is characterized as “position(ing) Caterpillar to compete in China and other growth markets with this product.

“Bringing production of wheeled excavators to China will give our customers more options and will position Caterpillar for continued success,” according to Gary Stampanato, a Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for excavators.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)