US company Caterpillar has announced it will discontinue production of its vocational trucks in North America.
“Based on the current business climate in the truck industry and a thorough evaluation of the business, the company decided it would withdraw from [the vocational truck] market,” Caterpillar said in a media statement.
The move is reportedly in line with the company’s on-going restructuring to align its businesses with existing conditions, but won’t affect the Australian operation.
“It should be outlined that this announcement is purely focused on North America and has no influence or impression on how the local operations for the Australian or NZ business nor our product range,” said Glen Sharman, Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development at Navistar Auspac.
While the company will cease taking new orders for vocational trucks in the US, the Australian business will continue as usual, Sharman said.
“In line with the US, Caterpillar remains committed to existing truck customers and will support the existing trucks currently on the road.”
Caterpillar had launched its first vocational truck in the North American market in 2011, working with Navistar on the products’ design and build.
Last year, the company announced its intention to begin independently designing and manufacturing its vocational truck products at the Caterpillar plant in Victoria, Texas, but in light of the new direction, the project will now not be progressed.
“Remaining a viable competitor in this market would require significant additional investment to develop and launch a complete portfolio of trucks, and upon an updated review, we determined there was not a sufficient market opportunity to justify the investment,” explained Ramin Younessi, Vice President with responsibility for Caterpillar’s Industrial Power Systems Division.
“We have not yet started truck production in Victoria, and this decision allows us to exit this business before the transition occurs.
Image courtesy of Caterpillar.