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Caterpillar Investing $200M To Boost Production In India

Heavy equipment maker will raise production of off-highway trucks and backhoe loaders in India over the next four years.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said Thursday it will invest $200 million over four years to boost manufacturing capacity in India, as part of its plan to increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Caterpillar will raise production of off-highway trucks made at its facility near Chennai, which are used for coal and other mining jobs in India.

The company also will expand engine production at its facility in Hosur, adding production of the Caterpillar 3508 engine, which will be used primarily in off-highway trucks produced by Caterpillar in India.

The company is also investing in increased India production capability for backhoe loaders, the most widely used construction machine in India, of which Caterpillar has already more than quadrupled production there in recent years. The company is also studying expanding the range of products made in India, with the possibility of building additional manufacturing facilities to meet demand for other earth-moving products.

"This additional investment demonstrates Caterpillar's commitment to customers in India and the importance of such emerging markets as we build our proven global business model across the Asia-Pacific region, an area that is critical to Caterpillar's 2010 and Vision 2020 goals," said Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Owens.

Caterpillar currently makes off-highway trucks, backhoe loaders, engines, engine components and generator sets in India. In addition, Caterpillar established an Engineering Design Center in Chennai in 2002. Caterpillar Logistics Services India Private Ltd. in Bangalore develops logistics technologies and provides services for Caterpillar in India.

Together, Caterpillar and its dealers in India have nearly 4,500 employees. This new investment will boost Caterpillar's number of Indian employees over the next several years.

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