NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Caterpillar Inc.'s plans for a $140 million road grader plant in North Little Rock remained unchanged Monday as the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment reported its fourth-quarter profit plunged 32 percent.
Caterpillar announced at a news conference three weeks ago at the state Capitol that it would build the plant and hire 600 workers. Jim Dugan, a spokesman for the Peoria, Ill.-based company, said Monday after the company announced its quarterly earnings that there was no change in plans for the North Little Rock project.
Caterpillar intends to make the Arkansas plant a model factory for the company, with production to start in 2010. The company received $3 million for the project from Gov. Mike Beebe's $50 million Quick Action Closing Fund.
Overall, Caterpillar expects sharply lower results this year as global economic problems cut into its business. The company said it had taken actions to remove about 20,000 workers, including Caterpillar employees, contract and agency workers.