An announcement by Caterpillar Inc. that it will begin independently designing and manufacturing its vocational truck range at a Caterpillar plant in Texas will have no impact on the supply of Cat branded trucks in New Zealand, Australia, and Pacific markets.
Caterpillar launched its first vocational truck, the CT660, in North America in 2011, built by Navistar.
Caterpillar’s announcement in the US concerns Cat’s North America vocational truck range, which is available in left hand-drive configuration only, and was never introduced to the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific markets.
“The Cat-branded trucks supplied to Australian, New Zealand and Pacific markets are completely different models to the Cat vocational range which is a uniquely Caterpillar product,” says Glen Sharman, director of sales, marketing and business development for Navistar Auspac.
“The Cat trucks we offer here are developed specifically for our on-highway markets.
“The Cat Trucks range has evolved immensely since the Australian launch in 2010 with models like the CT630S, the CT630SC and most recently the CT630HD rated for road train triples applications.
“Navistar certainly wouldn’t be investing in development of these models if it saw anything other than a long and strong future for Cat-branded trucks in our markets,” says Glen.
“Cat trucks are a valuable and ongoing part of Navistar Auspac’s plans for today and tomorrow and any assumptions or speculation otherwise are completely mistaken.
Caterpillar truck representatives in the US further state they will continue to source Cat-branded engines such as the CT13 that Navistar builds to power Caterpillar vocational trucks and the CT610 on-highway model in the Navistar Auspac range.
“The CT13 engine you see in the Caterpillar truck will continue to be available in the (vocational) truck,” says David Schmitz, product manager, Caterpillar Trucks.
Furthermore, speculation by some competitors and commentators that Cat’s durable 15-litre engine has a limited future has been firmly refuted by Caterpillar.
“Earlier this year we mentioned that we will have a 15-litre announcement later this year and it is still on track,” confirms David Schmitz. “The 15-litre engine is key to future growth.”
“The way we see it, this is another highly positive development for Cat Trucks in our region. There is no question that Cat Trucks will continue to grow in the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific markets,” says Glen.