Manufacturing giant Caterpillar has entered the home and outdoor power markets with the launch of a new range of portable generators - the RP Series.

It said the new generators were designed to provide reliable backup or recreational power to residential users and portable power to professional contractors who need to power tools and lights on the job.

It said the initial models in the Cat RP Series ranged in size and power from 3.6kW to 7.5kW in North America and 2.5kW to 4.4kW in Europe.

Caterpillar said the portable generators would be available to purchase through a new multi-channel distribution approach — including Cat dealers, local retailers, and eventually national retailers and wholesalers — which will serve as Cat Home & Outdoor Power Authorized Sales and Service Centers.

“This is about providing a new customer base with the right solutions for their home and outdoor power needs that reflect the reliability, rugged capabilities and quality with which Cat products are known,” said George Taylor, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the marketing and digital division, and the company’s chief marketing officer.

“We want to connect these customers to Caterpillar’s decades of experience in the electric power business, and this new distribution approach means we can do just that,” Taylor explained.

The company added that the generators would be introduced to distribution networks in the US and Canada over the remainder of 2016 with a move into European networks late in the year.

And it said an expanded home and outdoor power portfolio was under development with more product launches anticipated in 2017.

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