Wacker Neuson and Caterpillar Sign Strategic Alliance for Mini Hydraulic Excavators

Wacker Neuson today announced a new strategic alliance to exclusively develop and produce Caterpillar-branded mini hydraulic excavators up to 3 tons.

Executives of Wacker Neuson SE, Munich, Germany, and Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., signed a 20-year agreement regarding the design, manufacture, distribution and support of Caterpillar mini-excavators, with manufacturing by Wacker Neuson to begin in mid-2011 at its production plant in Linz, Austria.

Wacker Neuson will leverage its manufacturing and product development capability to produce Caterpillar mini-excavators in the under 3-ton category. Caterpillar currently offers three models in this size range. The new model range will consist of up to seven machines. The mini-excavators will be produced to Caterpillar’s technical and brand specifications and will be distributed and supported via Caterpillar’s global dealer network, with the exception of Japan. All Caterpillar models will be clearly differentiated from comparable Wacker Neuson models in the same product range. The additional volume in the first year of full production in 2012 will more than double the existing production volume of comparable mini-excavators on Wacker Neuson’s production lines.

“We know many customers are looking for more options in this size range, and this alliance will give those customers expanded choices to help them grow their business,” said Mary Bell, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Building Construction Products Division. “There is also an ideal cultural fit between Caterpillar and Wacker Neuson, as both companies have a strong focus on developing and supporting world class products. Over the years, Wacker Neuson has developed a strong reputation among our Caterpillar dealers, who have become familiar with Wacker Neuson’s Light Equipment products, which are available at Cat Rental stores.”

By concentrating production of selected products at Wacker Neuson’s mini-excavator production plant in Linz, Austria, the two companies will leverage joint economies of scale in the manufacturing and development process, while supplying their respective, complementary sales channels with differentiated, competitive machines.

“We are delighted at the prospect of what promises to be a long-term strategic partnership for both companies as we move forward and probably will accelerate our investment in a new and highly efficient mini-excavator production plant in Hörsching, near Linz,” said Georg Sick, CEO of Wacker Neuson SE.

The partnership will enable both parties to spread the cost of developing and modifying lower-emission products across higher volumes.

Wacker Neuson SE is a global manufacturer of light and compact equipment. Manufacturing activities are distributed across three German, one Austrian, two American and one Philippine production sites.

Caterpillar Inc. reported 2009 sales and revenues of $32.39 billion. It is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

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