• The Caterpillar name has strong résumé recognitions for future job applications
  • Good pay and excellent benefits


  • Location: Those unwilling to move to Peoria, IL-or overseas-will likely miss out on the best opportunities and challenges
  • Job security: While the firm has weathered the recession reasonably well, another downturn could jeopardize revenues, leading to layoffs.

The Bottom Line

  • Employees can fall through the cracks and find it difficult to move up at Caterpillar. However, the benefits of working for this industry leader greatly outweigh any drawbacks.


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.

Geographic Reach

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, 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 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; formerly 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.

Financial Performance

After posting record-setting revenue and profit totals for 2012, Caterpillar saw its revenues fall 15% to $56 billion in 2013. The revenue drop in 2013 was fueled by a 37% drop from Resource Industries and a 41% drop in its All Other segment. Geographically, Caterpillar suffered from an 8% drop in sales within the US and a 19% decline internationally.

Profits fell 33% from $5.7 billion in 2012 to $3.8 billion in 2013 due to the lower revenue coupled with higher expenses affiliated with foreign exchange losses. Caterpillar's operating cash flow climbed from $5.2 billion in 2012 to $10.2 billion in 2013 due to an uptick in cash generated from receivables, trade, and other categories.


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 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.

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100 Ne Adams St
Peoria, IL 61629-0002
Phone: 1 (309) 675-1000
Fax: 1 (309) 675-1076


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: CAT
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Chairman & CEO: Douglas R. Oberhelman
  • VP Product Development and Global Technology and CTO: Gwenne A. Henricks
  • Chairman & CEO: Douglas R. Oberhelman

Major Office Locations

  • Peoria, IL

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