Caterpillar Inc. (also known as CAT) is an American Fortune 100 corporation that designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, markets, and sells machinery, engines, financial products, and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. It is the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer. Caterpillar is considered a giant in the tech and engineering industry as it was ranked number 65 on the Fortune 500 2018 list and number 238 on the Global Fortune 500 list. Caterpillar stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Caterpillar machinery is recognizable by its trademark “Caterpillar Yellow” livery and the “CAT” logo.
Caterpillar Inc. traces its foundation to the 1925 merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Company, creating a new entity, California-based Caterpillar Tractor Company. However, in 1986, the company reorganized itself as a Delaware corporation under Caterpillar Inc. The corporate headquarters are located in Deerfield, Illinois, after it was announced in January 2017 that for that year, it would relocate its headquarters from Peoria, Illinois, to Deerfield, Illinois, scrapping plans from 2015 of building an $800 million new headquarters complex in downtown Peoria. Since its expansion in recent times, the company also licenses and markets a line of clothing and work boots under its CAT/Caterpillar name.
Currently, Caterpillar products and components are manufactured in 110 facilities worldwide. Fifty-one manufacturing plants are located in the United States, and 59 overseas plants are located in Australia (until 2015), Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, India (Tiruvallur), Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, and Sweden.
Caterpillar’s historical manufacturing home is in Peoria, Illinois, which has also been Caterpillar’s Global headquarters and the home to its core research and development activities. Although Caterpillar has contracted much of its local parts production and warehousing to third parties, Caterpillar still has four major plants in the Peoria area: the Mapleton Foundry, where diesel engine blocks and other significant parts are cast; the East Peoria factory, which has assembled Caterpillar tractors for over 70 years; the Mossville engine plant, built after World War II; and the Morton parts facility.
Caterpillar has a corporate governance structure where the board’s chairman also acts as chief executive officer (CEO). The board of directors is fully independent and comprises non-employee directors selected from outside the company. Several group presidents report to the CEO, and multiple vice presidents report to each group president.
On the controversy front, Caterpillar Inc. has been accused of “bullying” as a result of its attempt to seek revocations of registered trademarks in the United States incorporating the word “Cat” within the market of apparel, such as Keyboard Cat and “Cat & Cloud” (a cafe in Santa Cruz, California).
Caterpillar is a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a Washington D.C.-based coalition of over 400 major companies and NGOs that advocates for increased funding of American diplomatic and development efforts abroad through the International Affairs Budget. Economic development projects in developing countries (mainly in rural, agricultural regions) serve as new markets for Caterpillar products by improving political and economic stability and rising average incomes. 2011 recipient of the Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology from the National Building Museum.
Learn more about Caterpillar Inc. here.