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Market, investment factors drive Caterpillar’s abrupt exit from on-highway trucks

Sources: Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill.; CP staff

Caterpillar will discontinue production of its on-highway vocational truck series, citing the current climate for heavy duty vehicles and a restructuring plan aligning company businesses with existing conditions. It will cease taking orders but maintain support for the Class 8 CT660, CT680 and CT681 models in the field.

Caterpillar unveiled its first model, the set-back axle CT660, at the 2011 ConExpo-Con/Agg. Production of it and companion models was contracted through Navistar Inc. Caterpillar announced its intention last year to independently design and assemble the CT series at a Victoria, Texas, plant—alongside hydraulic excavator production.

“Remaining a viable competitor in this market would require significant additional investment to develop and launch a complete portfolio of trucks. Upon an updated review, we determined there was not a sufficient market opportunity to justify the investment,” says Caterpillar Vice President Ramin Younessi, who oversees the Industrial Power Systems Division. “We have not yet started truck production in Victoria, and this decision allows us to exit this business before the transition.”