Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) has announced it will discontinue production of its on-highway vocational trucks. Based on the current business climate in the truck industry and a thorough evaluation of the business, the company decided it would withdraw from this market. This is also in line with the company’s ongoing restructuring to align its businesses with existing conditions. As a result of this action, the company will cease taking new orders for vocational trucks, although Caterpillar remains committed to existing truck customers and will support the existing trucks currently on the road.
Caterpillar 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.
“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,” said 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.”
This announcement will impact approximately 70 positions. The reductions will begin in March and will take place over a period of time.