Caterpillar will soon begin exports of fully-made equipment from India. Speaking exclusively to IndianAutosBlog on the sidelines of the launch of the 424B backhoe loader in Chennai, Vivek Chandrasekharan, director for sales & marketing, Asia Region, Building Construction Products, confirmed this.
At present, the company exports transmission components and axles. Fully made CAT transmission units, along with hydraulic pumps and components are exported. At first, said Chandrasekharan, is a components strategy (for exports). A logical follow up, he added, would be that of fully-made equipment.
Along with the development of the latest iteration of the 424B backhoe loader, focus was on improving the components base of Caterpillar India on parameters like quality, processes and process control.
On a related note, fellow earth moving equipment maker JCB had recently announced that it would be moving its production of tandem rollers and compaction equipment from UK to India. This is obviously done for the purpose of saving costs, implying that JCB thinks that its Indian vendors are mature enough to produce for the global market.
Asked if Caterpillar agrees with JCB's assessment, Chandrasekharan readily agreed. Scale in the domestic industry definitely helps, he added, noting that Caterpillar would extend its Caterpillar Production System to its Indian vendors.
When exports eventually begin from Caterpillar India, Africa and the Middle East would be the primary markets, confirmed Chandrasekharan.