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 & Power Systems consists of Resource Industries (transformed by the 2011 $8.8 billion acquisition of rival Bucyrus International), Construction Industries, Power Systems, 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 140 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 (Power Systems); 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.
Caterpillar's profits were up 15% and revenue increased 10% in fiscal 2012 over the prior year, thanks to the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures, improved sales volumes, and increased sales of both new equipment and aftermarket parts. Excluding acquisitions and divestitures, Resource Industries saw sales jump 24%, while Construction Industries and Power Systems were flat. All major geographic regions saw sales increases in fiscal 2012 except for Latin America. The US saw the most significant improvement, while China and parts of Europe experienced a decrease in sales.
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.
In addition to this organic expansion, Caterpillar routinely evaluates acquisition, divestiture, and joint venture opportunities. In mid-2012 it opted to sell a majority interest in Caterpillar Logistics Services LLC (now Neovia Logistics Services) for $541 million to Platinum Equity. Caterpillar kept a 35% stake in the unit, though logistics is considered noncore to its business.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In line with its goal of expanding its role as an equipment and services provider for China's coal mining industry, Caterpillar acquired ERA Mining Machinery Limited and its Zhengzhou-based, wholly owned subsidiary Siwei in mid-2012. Siwei's roof support products and manufacturing capabilities are combined with Caterpillar's experience in technical innovation and safety to help mining customers in China become more efficient and improve safety at their mine sites. In 2013 Caterpillar began an internal investigation of Siwei for multiyear accounting misconduct, leading to the dismissal of several senior managers at Siwei.