Caterpillar's strategic approach to new growth markets

Caterpillar 340DLCaterpillar Construction Days are all about construction, focusing on new products and best practices, offering opportunities to share views and strengthen partnerships, between customers, dealers and Caterpillar itself

At the most recent Caterpillar Construction Days for CIS and for Africa and the Middle East (AME) markets in October 2012, there were 1,000 visitors in Antalya, Turkey, representing 26 dealers, speaking 14 languages.

Damien Giraud, corporate marketing at Caterpillar, Christian Diller, Caterpillar's customer manager for Africa and the Middle East (AME), and Andy Grover, Caterpillar's rental operations manager for Africa, were there to speak of developments amongst its customers in the region.

Changing views on construction

M Giraud and M Diller offered a strong impression that Cat equipment and services are to the fore in construction markets - and reminded its customers that Cat offers much more than equipment.

Cat offers finance – with financial branded services in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Angola, Malawi, and Sierra Leone – offering flexibility and the kind of critical support for capitalisation that banks no longer seem capable of delivering.

There are rental solutions. The Cat Rental Store represents a key strategic option for the company, in serving its customers whatever the size of their operations and the extent of their requirements.

With respect to the African rental market, Andy Grover said, "The objective is to create a stronger distribution channel, when it comes to Caterpillar products... but, through rental, we also provide additional solutions through allied products for our customers. So, the Cat Rental Store is made up of Cat products, but it is also supplemented by additional manufacturers' equipment."

This approach to rental reinforces the company's intention to be as flexible as possible, and to serve as wide a variety of operations as possible. Additionally, there's product differentiation for LRCs, lesser regulated countries, to maximise the price/value ratio across the board. There is an even stronger focus on those strongly growing markets in Africa and the Middle East, with dedicated models such as the 340D L and the 120K - machines that are unique to AME markets.

It is no longer viable, commercially, to say that machines developed for Europe and America will do for the rest of the world; now, Cat serves each of the world's regions according to requirements within regions, more so than before.

Revolution from evolution

Technology-enabled equipment is key to successful evolution of the Cat product range over the last five years. Cat AccuGrade offers a clear example of the benefits that have come with such evolution of product, amounting to revolution on the ground, in the industry. The AccuGrade Grade Control System can help deliver an increase in productivity of up to 40 per cent, while reducing site costs.

Timing, safety and economy are all impacted in significant ways through such upgradeable technology.

And then one may look for Product Link, with VisionLink software provided by Caterpillar. All core and paving machines supplied by Caterpillar are Product Link ready (where regulation permits) – with a free three-year subscription, and with options for connectivity by either cellular coverage or satellite coverage.

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