Whether digging, loading, paving, or moving, Caterpillar does it all. The company is the world's #1 manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, which includes excavators, loaders, and tractors, as well as forestry, paving, and tunneling machinery. It also manufactures diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. Subsidiary Caterpillar Financial Services offers a slew of financing, leasing, insurance, and warranty products and services for dealers and customers. Among Caterpillar's other services are remanufacturing through Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services and rail-related upgrade, repair, and maintenance services through Progress Rail Services.
Caterpillar sells its products and services in North America, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Africa & Middle East (EAME), and Latin America. Sales from each of these segments is fairly well dispersed, with two-thirds of revenue coming from non-North American markets.
Caterpillar's construction, mining, and power equipment manufacturing operations are conducted in facilities scattered across the US. It also operates a technical center in Mossville, Illinois. Additionally, the company has marketing and operating locations in the US, Switzerland, Japan, China, Singapore, and Brazil. Parts distribution centers are located in the US, Mexico, Belgium, Russia, China, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Brazil.
Caterpillar is organized into five operating segments that fall under two categories. Machinery, Energy, and Transportation consists of Resource Industries, Construction Industries, Energy and Transportation, and All Other. The All Other segment's operations consist of remanufacturing services, primarily the refurbishment and restoration of used machinery and technologies for automotive and industrial OEMs, as well as for the defense industry.
Caterpillar's second business category and fifth operating segment, Financial Products, consists of subsidiaries Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (Cat Financial), Caterpillar Insurance Holdings Inc. (Cat Insurance), and their respective subsidiaries.
Sales and Marketing
Caterpillar machinery is distributed primarily through a worldwide network of dealers, many of which provide sales, rental, service, and aftermarket support. Most are independently owned and operated, though Caterpillar owns and operates three of its own dealerships in Japan. Within its global dealer network, about 50 are located in the US and an additional 130 are located outside of the US. This network serves more than 180 countries. Caterpillar engines are sold through the dealer network and to other manufacturers for use in their products.
Caterpillar serves several different customer segments, including those using machinery in mine and quarry applications (Resource Industries); those using machinery in building construction and infrastructure applications (Construction Industries); those using reciprocating engines and turbines in industries serving electric power, industrial, marine, and petroleum applications, as well as those needing the provision of rail services (Energy and Transportation); and retail and dealer customers needing financing, leasing, and insurance for their equipment (Financial Products). At the front end of a purchase, Caterpillar provides financing to its customers; at the back end, it offers support for the purchase and lease of its equipment.
After posting record-setting revenue and profit totals for 2012, Caterpillar saw its revenues fall 15% to hover around the $55 billion mark for both 2013 and 2014. The static revenue for 2014 was fueled by a 24% drop from Resource Industries and an 8% drop from customers outside the US. Aftermarket part sales also declined in 2014, as some companies continue to extend proactive maintenance schedules and delay major overhauls when possible.
Profits, too, were flat from 2013 to 2014, remaining at $3.7 billion. This was fueled by the nonfluctuating revenues levels coupled with a spike in selling, general, and administrative expenses. In addition, Caterpillar's operating cash flow declined from $10.2 billion in 2013 to $8.1 billion in 2014.
As part of its Vision 2020 strategy, Caterpillar sets forth multiple goals that it is striving to achieve by 2015. It seeks to accelerate aftermarket parts and services growth; excel at product development; simplify cost structure; achieve profits; expand its leadership in the mining, quarry, and aggregates markets; grow its Power Systems segment within the rail, power conversion, and alternative fuel markets; and become a leader in China, while growing its position in India, Russia, and other parts of Asia that are developing their infrastructure.
With China being an important part of Caterpillar's long-term strategy, the company in early 2013 opened a new power train production facility for earthmoving and mining machinery and completed expansion of another facility that produces hydraulic cylinders, both in Wuxi, to bring the total number of operating factories in China to 24.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In line with its goal of expanding its role as an equipment and services provider throughout Europe, in 2013 the company acquired Johan Walter Berg AB (Berg), headquartered in Öckerö Islands, Sweden. Berg is a manufacturer of mechanically and electrically driven propulsion systems and marine controls for ships. With the acquisition, Caterpillar transitioned from selling only engines and generators to providing complete marine propulsion package systems.