Caterpillar will take design and production of its smallest hydraulic excavators in-house from 2018, ending an alliance with German manufacturer Wacker Neuson that dates back to 2010.
The company said the move, which applies to excavators weighing less than 3 t, would “leverage existing facilities and design teams to deliver cost effective and efficient new machines”.
Its Building Construction Products Division will design and manufacture the new products, building on the attributes of the larger Cat mini excavators.
Five of the current models – the 301.4C, 301.7D, 301.7D CR, 302.2D and 302.4D – manufactured by Wacker Neuson will be phased out in mid-2018.
A sixth – the 302.7D CR – will follow at the end of 2019. The 300.9D will be phased out at the same time, or later if mutually agreed.
“Wacker Neuson has been an excellent alliance partner, providing high quality mini excavators in this smaller size class for several years,” said Korey Coon, Caterpillar general manager responsible for mini hydraulic excavators and small track-type tractors.
“The market for these products has grown, and we believe that internally designing, manufacturing and distributing these excavators will provide an even higher value to our customers, dealers and shareholders.”
Spare parts availability, technical support and warranty for current models will continue as Caterpillar and Wacker Neuson work together, while other products sold and serviced by Wacker Neuson at Cat dealers and rental stores will not be affected.
A statement by Wacker Neuson said: “The group will continue its international growth strategy, distributing its extensive product range of excavators from 0.8 to 14.5 t operating weight via its global sales channels.
“Wacker Neuson will continue to focus on delivering innovative products that provide customers with even more value added. Caterpillar will continue to purchase selected products made by us to complement its own product offering in the future beyond the end of the alliance in 2018.”