BEIJING, November 21 — Caterpillar is moving its Asia Pacific headquarters to Beijing. Caterpillar vice president Rich Lavin, who has administrative responsibility for manufacturing operations in Caterpillar’s Asia Pacific Division, will relocate from Tokyo to Caterpillar’s Beijing offices as part of this decision.
“Caterpillar is growing in China, and moving our Asia Pacific Operations headquarters, a key element of our business model, to Beijing will provide a sharper focus for operational excellence for Team Caterpillar,” said Lavin. “Operational and sales success in China is a critical success factor for the company’s long-term growth and profitability. This move will help us achieve those goals while contributing to the growth, development and ever-improving quality of life in China.”
The Caterpillar Board of Directors elected Lavin vice president of operations for the Asia Pacific Division effective July 1, 2004. In this role Lavin serves as chairman of Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd. and has administrative responsibility for manufacturing operations in the region, including manufacturing facilities in China, India, Indonesia and Japan. Lavin’s move to Beijing is effective immediately. Caterpillar’s Asia Pacific Marketing Division headquarters will remain based in Singapore.
In October of 2005, Caterpillar chairman and chief executive officer Jim Owens outlined Caterpillar’s new enterprise strategy and goals for delivering Caterpillar’s Vision 2020. As part of that strategy, China was listed as one of seven critical success factors needed for Caterpillar to achieve its new strategy.
“China is clearly a key element of our future strategy, and we are rapidly expanding our business in support of the growing number of customers who are helping to build, develop and modernize China’s infrastructure and economy,” said Stu Levenick, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for Asia. “The movement of our Asia Pacific Operations headquarters to China is a clear indication of China’s strategic importance to Caterpillar. It reflects our strong desire to expand our manufacturing base rapidly deploy our global business model to provide enhanced support for customers in this critical market and as well as the Asia Pacific theater.”
Today, Caterpillar operates 13 China-based facilities – both joint venture and wholly owned businesses – which, together with its network of independent Caterpillar dealers, offer customers in China the best-in-class products, services and support that have made Caterpillar a global leader. The world’s most populous nation has undergone an economic growth and expansion that is unprecedented in modern times, and expected future growth in China makes it the single largest opportunity for potential future sales for many Caterpillar products.
Caterpillar has a long history in China. The company sold its first products there in 1975 and opened an office in Beijing in 1978. In the 1980s. Caterpillar launched technology transfer agreements with Chinese manufacturers who began buidling Caterpillar licensed products. Caterpillar’s expansion in china accelerated in the early 1990s with the establishment of a more significant local production strategy.