No Trucks For Cat

Posted on March 23, 2006

Near the end of its engine press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show, in Louisville, Jim Parker, vice president of Caterpillar’s Power Systems Marketing Division, attempted to lay to rest a subject that has been the focus of much speculation in recent months.

Without being asked by anyone in the assembled media, Parker flatly stated, “We will not make trucks. We’re not looking to buy a truck manufacturer. We have no strategic intent to be in the truck business other than to serve our OEM customers.”

Parker’s statement was the result, he said, of being questioned “about 12 times” on the subject since he had arrived in Louisville. The speculation is the result of the trend toward vertical integration in the heavy-truck market, which some observers feel will leave little room for independent suppliers like Cat or Cummins. As a result, there has been much speculation of Cat either buying a truck manufacturer or building its own truck, a move that was thought more likely after the company released two heavy-duty truck transmissions last year.

Parker’s statement seemed to preclude either possibility – though it probably won’t stop the speculation.