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Caterpillar Inc.

legal form Incorporated
ISIN US1491231015
founding 1925
Seat Deerfield (Illinois) , United StatesUnited StatesUnited States 
management D. James Umpleby ( CEO )
Number of employees 102,300
sales 53.8 billion US dollars
Branch mechanical engineering
As of December 31, 2019

Chain tractor Holt from before 1925

Caterpillar Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of construction machinery and is headquartered in Peoria , Illinois ( USA ). In addition to construction machinery, Caterpillar also manufactures high- and medium- speed diesel and gas engines and (via its subsidiary Solar ) industrial gas turbines . With the acquisition of Bucyrus International , Caterpillar is also one of the largest manufacturers of surface and underground mining equipment.

With license also a manufacturer of using mobile phones and one of shoes , the brand Caterpillar.

Company history

CAT logo
Caterpillar bulldozer
CAT dump truck
Caterpillar 950 K wheel loader on the Pikes Peak Highway
Caterpillar 345D L crawler hydraulic excavator
Caterpillar D6R with U-shaped shield at work
Dump truck Caterpillar 777 in the Lhoist limestone opencast mine in Menden
Caterpillar D9 at the Israeli barrier fence
The Kiel foundry casts for Caterpillar

Caterpillar (originally for zoological : caterpillar , then - as in German - also for the technical meanings of the word) was created in 1925 from a merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company ( Benjamin Holt ) and the CL Best Tractor Company ( Daniel Best ) and received the name Caterpillar Tractor Company . Benjamin Holt 1904 was the second who equipped a tractor with a drive chain and is thus regarded as one of the pioneers of the chain drive , the (colloquially today Kettenräumern bulldozers ), chain excavators, tanks and other tracked vehicles is applied.

In 1981, Caterpillar bought the US gas turbine manufacturer Solar Turbines .

In 1997, Caterpillar acquired engine manufacturer Perkins Engines from LucasVarity for $ 1.3 billion, making it the most expensive acquisition in the company's history to date.

In 1998, Caterpillar took over the long-established Kiel- based manufacturer MaK for medium-speed engines from the Krupp Group. The previously known Krupp MaK was incorporated into the Caterpillar branch of the company and renamed Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co KG. The work areas previously located under one roof were separated from the assembly company, so that today there are three individual parts that report to different business centers. The engine manufacturer is known as the KEC (Kiel Engine Center).

In 2003, Caterpillar acquired the Payhauler and Unit Rig brand names from Terex, as well as the corresponding series of diesel-electric dump trucks. In 2004, Babcock Borsig took over the Swiss company Turbomach and assigned it to the Solar Turbines division.

Telescopic handlers , which Caterpillar sells under its own brand through its dealer network, have been supplied by JLG Industries , a US company that was acquired by Oshkosh Corporation in 2006 , since 2005 .

In November 2010, Bucyrus International approved the acquisition by Caterpillar for $ 8.6 billion. The transaction closed on July 8, 2011.

In 2010, the Caterpillar subsidiary Progress Rail took over the American diesel locomotive manufacturer Electro-Motive Diesel . Since September 1, 2016, it has been operating as “Progress Rail Locomotive”.

In 2013, Caterpillar took over Berg Propulsion and incorporated it into its CAT Propulsion division.

Economic key data

The production of the machines is located worldwide, mostly where the main sales markets for the products are. Caterpillar employs approximately 95,000 people worldwide and had 2006 sales of $ 41.5 billion. The company produces dump trucks , excavators , wheel loaders , bulldozers , motor graders and backhoe loaders , among other things . The devices are used in earthworks, the construction industry , but above all in mines and opencast mines .

In 1999 they entered into a joint venture with the German company Claas for the mutual marketing of agricultural machines. So were CAT Challenger -Traktoren and - crawler tractors in Europe as Claas machines sold during Claas- Lexion - Combine harvesters in North America were sold under the brand CAT. A combine harvester plant was also built in Omaha , Nebraska . The fifty percent Caterpillar shares in this as well as in the joint venture were bought by Claas in 2002, when Caterpillar decided to give up the production of crawler tractors for agriculture and to sell them to the AGCO group under the brand name Challenger . The Lexion combine harvesters produced by Claas in Omaha for the North American market continued to be marketed and serviced as CAT Lexion by the Caterpillar sales companies. These are now sold in Caterpillar colors - but under the Claas name - through the Caterpillar dealer network.

Caterpillar does not have its own distribution system. Caterpillar products are sold through authorized independent sales companies. In Germany, for example, this is Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH.

Business and employee development (respective fiscal year)
GJ Employees Sales
in US $ million
Balance sheet profit
in million US $
in US $ million
2005 85.116 36,339 2,854 47,553
2006 94,593 41,517 3,537 51,449
2007 101,333 44,958 3,541 56,132
2008 112,887 51,324 3,557 67,782
2009 93,813 32,396 895 60,038
2010 104,490 42,588 2,700 64.020
2011 125.099 60,138 4,928 81,218
2012 125.341 65,875 5,681 88,970
2013 118.501 55,656 3,789 84,896
2014 114.233 55.184 2,452 84,681
2015 105,700 47.011 2,512 78,342
2016 95,400 38,537 −67 74,704
2017 98,400 45,462 754 76,962
2018 104,000 54,722 6.147 78.509
2019 102,300 53,800 6.093 78,453

Caterpillar in Germany

In 2015, about 4,800 people were employed at the German locations of Caterpillar. A major focus is on the development and production of underground longwall mining systems and mining equipment for hard rock mining at the Lünen site with around 600 employees. The local Caterpillar Mining Europe GmbH forms the core of the Caterpillar Mining division, another subsidiary, the Caterpillar Global Mining Europe GmbH - is in Wuppertal. In Dortmund , large hydraulic excavators for mining are also developed and manufactured with Caterpillar Mining HMS GmbH . Caterpillar's activities in the energy sector, the construction of diesel and dual-fuel engines for shipping, oil and power generation, are concentrated in Kiel (Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co. KG) and Rostock (Caterpillar Motoren Rostock GmbH). In Mannheim , Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH produces gas engines and power generators with a workforce of around 1,300. On March 5, 2020, the company announced that the locations in Lünen, Dortmund and Wuppertal will be closed.

Caterpillar in Belgium

In 2013, 1,400 jobs were cut in the production plant in Gosselies near Charleroi . In 2015, Caterpillar announced that it would cut 5,000 jobs by the end of 2016. September 2016 it was announced that the plant in Gosselies would be closed and 2000 employees would be laid off.


5.9% Capital Research & Management Co.
94.1% Free float

Environmental sustainability

Since 2005, Caterpillar has invested more than $ 500 million in research and development of ACERT technology to reduce exhaust emissions through the use of simulation tools and improved engine technology (e.g. electronically controlled injection, improved combustion process, variable valve timing) to reach. Caterpillar is the first major company to publish a Sustainability Report, which aims to make efforts to improve environmental sustainability transparent. With this, Caterpillar tries to counteract the constant criticism of environmental pollution and the destruction of natural space by its machines.


Sale of D9 bulldozers to the Israeli army

Armored Caterpillar D9R bulldozer as used by the Israel Defense Forces to destroy Palestinian dwellings

Caterpillar sells D9 bulldozers to the Israeli Army (IDF), which uses them to demolish civilian homes , farmland, and build Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories , among other things . Humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International , Human Rights Watch , the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights , and the World Council of Churches have criticized Caterpillar for its deliveries to the Israeli army.

In February 2012, the rating agency MSCI removed Caterpillar from its World Socially Responsible Index . In addition to a labor dispute and a plant closure in Canada in January 2012, job security and environmental issues, she gave the reason for the controversy surrounding the use of Caterpillar machines in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Caterpillar company defends its sales to the Israeli army by stating that it is unable to monitor the use of all the machines it sells.

Tax evasion

From 2000 to 2012, Caterpillar conducted its spare parts business through a Swiss subsidiary, for which a particularly low tax rate was negotiated. Although spare parts are neither produced nor stored in Switzerland, the profits were posted there, which meant that the US state lost CHF 2.1 billion in taxes.

As part of the Luxembourg Leaks in November 2014, it became known that the company, with the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers, had established a tax evasion model through a complex network of companies. The original data was published on the Internet and shows that 8 billion US dollars of profit on paper are booked from the USA to Switzerland. These transactions reduce the tax burden in the United States by $ 2.4 billion. Internal emails from two employees indicate that these models should be obfuscated. One employee wrote in case the tax avoidance model were to become public: "We will all be retired when this comes up."


  • Eric C. Orlemann: The Caterpillar Century. Heel, Königswinter 2004, ISBN 3-89880-389-9 .
  • Thomas Wilk: Caterpillar. 75 years. Podszun, Brilon 2000, ISBN 3-86133-247-7 .
  • Eric C. Orlemann: Caterpillar Chronicle. Heel, Königswinter 2002, ISBN 3-89365-917-X .
  • Robert N. Pripps: The Big Book of the Caterpillar. Nebel, Eggolsheim 2002, ISBN 3-89555-068-X .
  • Peter A. Letourneau: Caterpillar military tracked vehicles. Nebel, Eggolsheim 2002, ISBN 3-89555-066-3 .

Web links

Commons : Caterpillar Vehicles  - Collection of Pictures, Videos, and Audio Files
Wiktionary: caterpillar  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: Tractor Lexicon: Caterpillar  - Learning and Teaching Materials

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Caterpillar's move left behind 12,000 workers. In: Daily Herald of October 27, 2018.
  2. a b Annual Report 2019 , accessed on May 23, 2020
  3. a b Caterpillar completes acquisition of Bucyrus , (PDF; 52 kB), July 8, 2011
  4. ^ Mobile company Bullitt to fire in China . . December 17, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  5. Wolverine World Wide Inc . Thomson Reuters . Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  6. ^ Sallie L. Gaines: $ 1.3 Billion Caterpillar Engine Firm Purchase. The Biggest Deal Ever For Peoria Company. Chicago Tribune , December 12, 1997, accessed April 18, 2013 .
  7. Form 8-K. Current Report, Pursuant to Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In: United States Securities and Exchange Commission, July 1, 2003, accessed October 11, 2015 .
  8. David Drickhamer: JLG to supply Caterpillar branded telehandlers. In: October 1, 2005, accessed October 11, 2015 .
  9. Caterpillar puts 8.6 billion on the table for Bucyrus  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, November 15, 2010@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  10. Caterpillar Unveils Cat® Marine Propulsion Systems, Successfully Completes Acquisition of Johan Walter Berg AB. Caterpillar, accessed October 12, 2015 .
  11. Caterpillar Finalizes Acquisition of Berg Propulsion. GCaptain, accessed October 12, 2015 .
  12. Jump up ↑ Berg Propulsion to become part of Caterpillar., accessed October 12, 2015 .
  13. Caterpillar Revenue 2006-2019 | CAT. Accessed April 30, 2020 .
  14. Caterpillar in Germany on ( Memento of the original from January 9, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed November 7, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. Marc Fröhling, Britta Linnhoff: RN + Caterpillar in Lünen closes the entire plant - 600 employees affected. In: RN, accessed March 5, 2020 .
  16. 2,000 jobs: Caterpillar closes plant in Belgium, September 2, 2016, accessed on September 2, 2016.
  17. ^ Caterpillar Brings Engines with ACERT ™ Technology to Off-Road Machines. (Caterpillar), accessed December 21, 2009 .
  19. ^ Israel and the Occupied Territories. Under the rubble: House demolition and destruction of land and property . ( Memento from October 15, 2012 on WebCite ) In: Amnesty International from May 2004, p. 64. (PDF; 1.4 MB).
  20. Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip (PDF; 58.7 MB) Human Rights Watch. Pp. 113-115. October 2004. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  21. a b Guttman, Nathan: The UN vs. Caterpillar . In: Haaretz . June 16, 2004. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  22. ^ Theologian supports boycott call by the church council. (The General Delegation of Palestine in the FRG), June 22, 2007, accessed on December 21, 2009 .
  23. ^ Zeveloff, Naomi: Israel Was 'Key' Issue in Caterpillar Dump . In: The Jewish Daily Forward . June 25, 2012. Retrieved on June 29, 2012: "The key factors determining the rating include a January 2012 labor dispute and subsequent plant closing in Canada, an on-going controversy associated with use of the company's equipment in the occupied Palestinian territories, management of environmental issues, and employee safety. "
  24. Caterpillar saves billions in taxes in Switzerland , Handelszeitung from April 1, 2014, accessed on April 1, 2014.
  25. Big 4 Audit Firms Play Big Role in Offshore Murk , ICIJ
  26. Billion dollar tax-saving models , Manager Magazin