Caterpillar will shift design and production of its smallest hydraulic excavators to its own facilities beginning in 2018, as its successful, six-year strategic alliance with Wacker Neuson is phased out.
Wacker Neuson began developing and producing mini hydraulic excavators under three tons operating weight exclusively for Caterpillar at its production plant in Hörsching, Austria, in 2010.
Caterpillar will now focus on growing its global mini excavator business as it leverages existing facilities and design teams to deliver cost-effective and efficient new machines weighing less than three tons.
Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products Division will design and manufacture the new machines, building on the proven attributes of the larger Cat mini excavators. Five of the current models (301.4C, 301.7D, 301.7D CR, 302.2D and 302.4D) manufactured by Wacker Neuson will phase out in mid-2018, and the 302.7D CR will phase out at the end of 2019. The 300.9D will also phase out at the end of 2019 or later if mutually agreed by both parties.
The alliance has provided positive brand enhancements for both parties in the competitive market segment of mini excavators. Caterpillar customers have benefited from the high quality products, expertise and focus provided by Wacker Neuson in this product range.
“Wacker Neuson has been an excellent alliance partner, providing Caterpillar high-quality mini excavators in this smaller size class for the past several years,” said Korey Coon, general manager with responsibility for mini hydraulic excavators and small track-type tractors.
“The market for these products has grown, and we believe that internally designing, manufacturing and distributing these excavators will provide an even higher value to our customers, dealers and shareholders.”
Spare parts availability, technical support and warranty for current models will continue as Caterpillar and Wacker Neuson work together in the future. Other Wacker Neuson light and compact equipment sold and serviced by Wacker Neuson at Caterpillar dealers and rental stores are unaffected by this change.
The Wacker Neuson Group will continue its international growth strategy, distributing its extensive product range of excavators from 0.8 to 14.5 tons operating weight via its global sales channels. Wacker Neuson will continue to focus on delivering innovative products that provide customers with even more value added. Caterpillar will continue to purchase selected products made by Wacker Neuson to complement its own product offering in the future beyond the end of the alliance in 2018.
August 26, 2016