"The Comeback of Caterpillar: 1985-2002"
August 6, 2007
Caterpillar, Inc is a United States corporation currently headquartered in Peoria, Ill. Caterpillar is commonly referred to as CAT, their listing on the New York Stock Exchange. They describes themselves on the corporate website as "the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines."1
The story of CAT begins in the late nineteenth century where Benjamin Holt and Daniel Best reexamined the way the steam engine plow was serving California farmers. Normal plows had a tendency to get stuck in the soft California soil so Benjamin Holt had the idea of adding block linked treads to the wheels, and the modern track plow was born.
The merger of Holt Manufacturing Company of Stockton, California and the C. L. Best Gas Traction Company of San Leandro, California, formed the Caterpillar Tractor Co.
The combined company thrived through the depression of the 1930's. With the merger, the company went through many changes, including adopting the diesel engine in 1931. The British military used CAT's track design when inventing the armor tank in 1915.2 Their products were used to build airfields and as transport vehicles in World War II. CAT started its first venture outside the United States in 1950, and began its growth as a multinational corporation.
They diversified the product line by adding tanks , hydraulic excavators, backhoe loaders, motor graders, off-highway trucks, wheel loaders, agricultural tractors, diesel and natural gas engines and gas turbines. They are used in construction, road-building, mining, forestry, energy, transportation, and material-handling industries.
George Schaefer's Caterpillar
George Schaefer was CEO of Caterpillar from 1985 through 1990. When he took the realm at Caterpillar, he realized that the company...