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Products: Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)

Caterpillar Inc.


Originally organized as Caterpillar Tractor Co. in 1925 in the State of California, our company was reorganized as Caterpillar Inc. in 1986 in the State of Delaware.

Categories of Business Organization

  1. Machinery, Energy & Transportation — Represents the aggregate total of Construction Industries, Resource Industries, Energy & Transportation and All Other operating segments and related corporate items and eliminations.
  2. Financial Products — Primarily includes the company’s Financial Products Segment.  This category includes Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (Cat Financial), Caterpillar Insurance Holdings Inc. (Insurance Services) and their respective subsidiaries.

Competitive Environment

Caterpillar products and product support services are sold worldwide into a variety of highly competitive markets.  In all markets, we compete on the basis of product performance, customer service, quality and price.  From time to time, the intensity of competition results in price discounting in a particular industry or region.  Such price discounting puts pressure on margins and can negatively impact operating profit. Outside the United States, certain competitors enjoy competitive advantages inherent to operating in their home countries or regions.

Research and Development

Company places strong emphasis on product-oriented research and development relating to the development of new or improved machines, engines and major components.  In 2017, 2016 and 2015, company spent $1,905 million, $1,951 million and $2,119 million, or 4.2, 5.1 and 4.5 percent of company sales and revenues, respectively, on company research and development programs.


As of December 31, 2019, we employed about 102,300 full-time persons of whom approximately 58,700 were located outside the United States. In the United States, we employed approximately 43,600 employees, most of whom are at-will employees and, therefore, not subject to any type of employment contract or agreement.  At select business units, certain highly specialized employees have been hired under employment contracts that specify a term of employment, pay and other benefits.

Construction Industries

Our Construction Industries segment is primarily responsible for supporting customers using machinery in infrastructure, forestry and building construction.  The majority of machine sales in this segment are made in the heavy and general construction, rental, quarry and aggregates markets and mining.

Nature of customer demand for construction machinery varies around the world.  Customers in developing economies often prioritize purchase price in making their investment decisions, while customers in developed economies generally weigh productivity and other performance criteria that contribute to lower owning and operating costs over the lifetime of the machine.  To meet customer expectations in developing economies, Caterpillar developed differentiated product offerings that target customers in those markets, including our SEM brand machines.  We believe that these customer-driven product innovations enable us to compete more effectively in developing economies. The majority of Construction Industries' research and development spending in 2017 focused on the next generation of construction machines.

The competitive environment for construction machinery is characterized by some global competitors and many regional and specialized local competitors.  Examples of global competitors include Komatsu Ltd., Volvo Construction Equipment (part of the Volvo Group), CNH Industrial N.V., Deere & Company, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., J.C. Bamford Excavators Ltd., Doosan Infracore Co., Ltd., Hyundai Construction Equipment Co., Ltd. and Kubota Farm & Industrial Machinery (part of Kubota Corporation).  As an example of regional and local competitors, our competitors in China also include Guangxi LiuGong Machinery Co., Ltd., Longking Holdings Ltd., Sany Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., XCMG Group, Shantui Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., (part of Shandong Heavy Industry Group Co.) and Shandong Lingong Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (SDLG, part of Volvo Group). Each of these companies has varying product lines that compete with Caterpillar products, and each has varying degrees of regional focus.

The Construction Industries product portfolio includes the following machines and related parts and work tools:

  • asphalt pavers


  • feller bunchers


  • telehandlers
  • backhoe loaders


  • harvesters


  • small and medium track-type tractors
  • compactors


  • knuckleboom loaders


  • track-type loaders  
  • cold planers


  • motorgraders


  • wheel excavators 
  • compact truck and multi-terrain loaders


  • pipelayers


  • compact, small and medium wheel loaders  
  • mini, small, medium and large excavators


  • road reclaimers



  • forestry excavators


  • site prep tractors





  • skidders





  • skid steer loaders

Construction Industries Gallery

Energy and Transportation

Our Energy & Transportation segment supports customers in oil and gas, power generation, marine, rail and industrial applications, including Cat® machines. The product and services portfolio includes reciprocating engines, generator sets, marine propulsion systems, gas turbines and turbine-related services, the remanufacturing of Cat engines and components and remanufacturing services for other companies, diesel-electric locomotives and other rail-related products and services and product support of on-highway vocational trucks for North America.

Regulatory emissions standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and comparable standards in other developed economies have required us to make significant investments in research and development that will continue as new products and similar regulations are introduced over the next several years. We believe that our emissions technology provides a competitive advantage in connection with emissions standards compliance and performance.

The competitive environment for reciprocating engines in marine, oil and gas, industrial and electric power generation systems along with turbines in oil and gas and electric power generation consists of a few larger global competitors that compete in a variety of markets that Caterpillar serves, and a substantial number of smaller companies that compete in a limited-size product range, geographic region and/or application.  Principal global competitors include Cummins Inc., Rolls-Royce Power Systems, GE Power, Siemens Power and Gas, Deutz AG and Wärtsilä Corp.  Other competitors, such as MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, Baker Hughes, a GE company, Rolls-Royce Marine, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Volvo Penta, Weichai Power Co., Ltd., Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited and other emerging market competitors compete in certain markets in which Caterpillar competes. An additional set of competitors, including Generac Power Systems, Inc., Kohler Co., Inc., Aggreko plc and others, are primarily packagers who source engines and/or other components from domestic and international suppliers and market products regionally and internationally through a variety of distribution channels.  In rail-related businesses, our global competitors include GE Transportation, Vossloh AG, Siemens Akteingesellschaft, Alstom Transport SA, and Voestalpine AG.  We also compete with other companies on a more limited range of products, services and/or geographic regions.

The Energy & Transportation portfolio includes the following products and related parts:

  • reciprocating engine powered generator sets

  • reciprocating engines supplied to the industrial industry as well as Caterpillar machinery

  • integrated systems used in the electric power generation industry

  • turbines, centrifugal gas compressors and related services

  • reciprocating engines and integrated systems and solutions for the marine and oil and gas industries

  • remanufactured reciprocating engines and components

  • diesel-electric locomotives and components and other rail-related products and services

Energy and Transportation Gallery

Resource Industries

The Resource Industries segment is primarily responsible for supporting customers using machinery in mining, quarry, waste and material handling applications.  Caterpillar offers a broad product range and services to deliver comprehensive solutions for our mining customers. We manufacture high productivity equipment for both surface and underground mining operations around the world. Our equipment is used to extract and haul copper, iron ore, coal, oil sands, aggregates, gold and other minerals and ores. In addition to equipment, Resource Industries also develops and sells technology products and services to provide customers fleet management systems, equipment management analytics and autonomous machine capabilities.

Customers in most markets place an emphasis on equipment that is highly productive, reliable and provides the lowest total cost of ownership over the life of the equipment. In some developing markets, customers often prioritize purchase price in making their investment decisions.  We believe our ability to control the integration and design of key machine components represents a competitive advantage. Our research and development efforts remain focused on providing mining and quarry customers the lowest total cost of ownership enabled through the highest quality, most productive products in the industry.

The competitive environment for Resource Industries consists of a few larger global competitors that compete in several of the markets that we serve and a substantial number of smaller companies that compete in a more limited range of products, applications, and regional markets.  Our global surface competitors include Komatsu Ltd., Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., Volvo Construction Equipment, Atlas Copco AB, Deere & Company, Sandvik AB and Liebherr-International AG. Our global underground competitors include Atlas Copco AB, Liebherr-International AG, Sandvik AB, Komatsu Ltd., and Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group Co., Ltd.

The Resource Industries product portfolio includes the following machines and related parts:

  • electric rope shovels


  • longwall miners


  • landfill compactors
  • draglines


  • large wheel loaders


  • soil compactors
  • hydraulic shovels


  • off-highway trucks


  • machinery components
  • rotary drills


  • articulated trucks


  • electronics and control systems
  • hard rock vehicles


  • wheel tractor scrapers


  • select work tools
  • large track-type tractors


  • wheel dozers


  • hard rock continuous mining systems
  • large mining trucks





Resource Industries Gallery

Financial Products

The business of our Financial Products segment is primarily conducted by Cat Financial, a wholly owned finance subsidiary of Caterpillar.  Cat Financial’s primary business is to provide retail and wholesale financing alternatives for Caterpillar products to customers and dealers around the world.  Retail financing is primarily comprised of the financing of Caterpillar equipment, machinery and engines. Cat Financial also provides financing for vehicles, power generation facilities and marine vessels that, in most cases, incorporate Caterpillar products. In addition to retail financing, Cat Financial provides wholesale financing to Caterpillar dealers and purchases short-term trade receivables from Caterpillar and its subsidiaries. The various financing plans offered by Cat Financial are primarily designed to increase the opportunity for sales of Caterpillar products and generate financing income for Cat Financial.  A significant portion of Cat Financial’s activity is conducted in North America, with additional offices and subsidiaries in Latin America, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Africa and Middle East.

For over 35 years, Cat Financial has been providing financing in the various markets in which it participates, contributing to its knowledge of asset values, industry trends, product structuring and customer needs.

In certain instances, Cat Financial’s operations are subject to supervision and regulation by state, federal and various foreign governmental authorities, and may be subject to various laws and judicial and administrative decisions imposing various requirements and restrictions which, among other things, (i) regulate credit granting activities and the administration of loans, (ii) establish maximum interest rates, finance charges and other charges, (iii) require disclosures to customers and investors, (iv) govern secured transactions, (v) set collection, foreclosure, repossession and other trade practices and (vi) regulate the use and reporting of information related to a borrower’s credit experience.  Cat Financial’s ability to comply with these and other governmental and legal requirements and restrictions affects its operations.