Caterpillar has announced it will expand operations in China, with a new proving ground and large wheel loader manufacturing facility.
Dubbed the Asia Pacific Proving Ground (APPG), the facility is part of the mining vehicle manufacturer’s expansion of its research and development presence in Asia, Cat says.
The new large wheel loader plant will produce the latest model of wheel loader that is being developed at Caterpillar’s Wuxi Research and Development Centre.
Tana Utley, Cat vice president and chief technology officer said “the APPG will be critical for Caterpillar in developing and validating the right products for this growth market”.
The manufacturing site, located at Tongzhou, is near to several of Cat’s other facilities in China.
Cat currently has 16 manufacturing facilities, three research and development centres as well as three logistics and parts centres in the country.
Caterpillar opened a new Chinese facility earlier this month to produce hydraulic excavator parts.
The 18 000 square metre facility will be located in the Xuzhou economic development zone.
It will be built near the Caterpillar Xuzhou hydraulic excavator facility, allowing for the shipment of finished undercarriage components directly to the excavator factory for final assembly.
Luis de Leon, Caterpillar vice president for the mining products division, said “the large wheel loaders we are going to make in Tongzhou will give customers a new option that has been designed to suit the needs and requirements for mining in China.
“By locating the wheel loader facility with the proving ground and near several other Caterpillar operations and our supply base, we will leverage Caterpillar’s business model, product development cycle times and supply chain support.”
The Asia Pacific proving Ground will be operational by the third quarter of next year, with the large wheel loader facility to being production by the end of 2012.