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Caterpillar China reaches milestone

By WANG YING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-02 09:24

Caterpillar China reaches milestone

A row of excavators are seen at the Caterpillar booth at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.[Photo/Agencies]

The China arm of Caterpillar Inc, the US-based maker of construction and mining equipment, as well as engines, has reached the sales milestone of 20,000 units of mini hydraulic excavators, and is ready to expand its capacity to better serve both the bullish local market and some overseas markets.

China is the world's largest market for mini excavators (the under 10-metric-ton class). Last year, some 40,766 units were sold in China, an increase of 31.1 percent year-on-year.

Mini excavators, each of which could retail for between 300,000 yuan ($45,510) and 400,000 yuan in China, account for more than 40 percent of the hydraulic excavators market.

Foreign-made CAT mini excavators were initially introduced into the China market in 2003.

Eight years later, Caterpillar's Wujiang plant in southern Suzhou started production of mini hydraulic excavators.

"Caterpillar China has striven to build an integrated system for its mini excavator business, covering local R&D and manufacturing as well as the provision of components and parts," said Chen Qihua, vice-president of Caterpillar and chairman of Caterpillar China.

About 30 percent of the products are exported to markets like Brazil, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.

According to Chen, the planned expansion of the Wujiang plant would entail two new production lines, mainly for mini hydraulic excavators in the under 3-ton class, which would help boost both output and sales.

"The Wujiang plant's annual capacity will reach 20,000 units in the coming four years," said Chen.

The CAT mini hydraulic excavator is one of achievements of Caterpillar's Chinese R&D team, in collaboration with the company's global R&D team.

"A series of mini hydraulic excavators that meet the unique local requirements have been developed, with outstanding performance and superior fuel efficiency. These excavators have been well received in both domestic and overseas markets, reinforcing the reputation of 'Made in China' products," said Korey Coon, a global product general manager from the company.

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