Cat opening new facility in Georgia
“Caterpillar’s location in our county will be a major force in establishing an industrial base that balances our residential development and diversifies our tax base,” said Oconee County Chairman Melvin Davis. “With this location, the company will become the largest private employer in Oconee County and an integral part of our community.”
The North American facility will become Caterpillar’s global source for small track-type tractors. For mini hydraulic excavators, the new facility will provide completed machines for customers in North and South America. In addition, the company plans to export partially assembled mini excavator base units to a facility in Europe, where final assembly will take place, improving delivery times for European customers.
“Investments in high output manufacturing operations like the new Caterpillar facility to be built in Athens can be a huge benefit to the local and regional economy,”
said Dr. Sharon Younger, President of Younger Associates research firm and faculty member of the Economic Development Institute. “Based on the production capacity of the new plant, I estimate the total economic impact to reach $2.4 billion per year as key suppliers locate in the region and the regional supply chain matures.”
Work at the new plant will include major fabrications, paint and final assembly for both product lines. The company also plans to have an on-site product distribution center for small track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators produced at the new facility. These machines are currently made at Caterpillar’s Sagami, Japan, facility. Once the transition to the new facility in Athens is completed, the Sagami plant will continue to serve a key strategic role in Caterpillar’s global growth strategy as a high-tech component facility.
Caterpillar plans to break ground on the new facility in Athens in the first quarter of 2012. Initial production at the facility is expected to begin in late 2013, ramping up to full production over a five-year period. The company will use the website www.jointeamcaterpillar.com to fill the majority of open positions at the facility.
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