The mega industrial Caterpillar started back in 1925 with the merging of Holt manufacturing Company and C.L. Best Tractor Company. With the war time tractor demand plummeting due to peacetime after the Great War, the two companies after intense competition from one another banded together to form Caterpillar Tractor Co. LTD. Under new management and led by Thomas A Baxter, the once popular war tractors were cut from production and the focus on smaller field tractors and highway construction machinery increased. When the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921 was later further funded, there was less competition for Caterpillar once the two major competitors merged leading to more lucrative contracts and highway servicing. After successfully profiting off the Highway Act, Caterpillar would expand its industry to foreign markets, starting in England.
Global Expansion and Customization
With global interests in mind, Caterpillar in 1950 ventured into England to form a subsidiary that till this date is one of the largest bases for Caterpillar outside the U.S. 50 years later, they open their first factory in Russia at the Tonso Plant, producing a wide assortment of heavy machinery for the resources market that exploded on the discovery of Russian oil. Custom vehicles and equipment were crafted under the Russian regulations. This action granted Caterpillar easier access into the global market, giving them a leg up on their rival competitor Komatsu, which originated in Japan and was brought over to America in 1960.
Caterpillar was able to use its resources and ingenuity to stay ahead of its competitors by thinking on the global scale. Their approach on adding factories to other countries granted them not only easier access to raw materials, but access to cheaper labor and larger markets around the world. Doubling up on their global expansions, Caterpillar built more than two dozen factories in Shanghai which mass produce machinery on demand increasing profit margins.
With the slowing of industrial projects in China and energy sectors around the world, Caterpillar’s revenues started to decline. Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman said, “We have to be competitive if we’re gonna win. And frankly, if we’re not competitive … we’re not gonna be here in the next 30 years.” Indeed! They also need to think of new sectors and geographies to grow into.
Industrial Translations Provide an Edge
Over the years, Caterpillar invested heavily in industrial and other types of translations. In addition to product documentation, their code of conduct is translated today into 18 different languages and their entire website is available in 13 languages.
Here at GlobalVision, we strive to help industrial companies localize and translate their products for all international markets. In doing so, we enable them to reach out and generate business from markets outside their current ones. To give more credit to globalization, Caterpillar, or as many know it as CAT (not to be confused with Computer Aided Translation), is in the Forbes 500 as one of the world’s largest leading businesses. Steal a page from their success story by not settling for the status quo. Go global and don’t stop growing your global reach!
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