THE CA­PIT­U­LA­TION OF CAT

Cat trucks are on the edge of ex­tinc­tion, bring­ing to a close one of the most tu­mul­tuous, dis­jointed and ul­ti­mately dis­ap­point­ing brand his­to­ries to ever im­pact the Aus­tralian truck­ing in­dus­try. In this spe­cial re­port, Steve Brooks re­flects on a past and

Owner Driver - - Owner/Driver -

IF, SOME­WHERE in a fu­ture far, far away, the Cater­pil­lar com­pany de­cided to re­join the main­stream truck busi­ness in any shape or form, it would surely be an am­ne­siac or per­haps cere­brally chal­lenged in­di­vid­ual who would, with any con­fi­dence, give any­thing more than cur­sory con­sid­er­a­tion to form­ing an as­so­ci­a­tion with the yel­low brand.

Not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause of any fun­da­men­tal flaw in what­ever prod­uct the com­pany may de­cide to pro­duce, but be­cause his­tory has the re­mark­able and of­ten ugly ca­pac­ity to re­peat it­self.

And let’s face it, the mod­ern his­tory of Cater­pil­lar’s as­so­ci­a­tion with the Aus­tralian truck­ing in­dus­try is drenched in du­bi­ous as­sump­tions and aban­don­ment of those loyal in­di­vid­u­als who, in more cases than not, lit­er­ally bled yel­low.

It’s a long, con­vo­luted story and US out­fit Nav­is­tar cer­tainly plays a ma­jor and some­what moot role, but we’ll get to that in due course.

As things stand right now, there are lit­tle more than a hand­ful of new Cat­branded trucks re­main­ing on deal­ers’ lots, and the like­li­hood, ac­cord­ing to many sources within the Cat net­work in this coun­try, is that once cur­rent stocks run out, there will be no more.

From all ap­pear­ances, typ­i­fied to some ex­tent by their com­plete ab­sence from the re­cent Bris­bane Truck Show, Cat-branded trucks will sim­ply slink into obliv­ion. No noise, no fuss, no ex­pla­na­tion, and al­most cer­tainly no apol­ogy for any in­con­ve­nience.

Gone, just like the en­gines which were once such a proud and promi­nent player in the big end of the truck busi­ness, and yet again leav­ing Cat’s of­ten ma­ligned dealer group to main­tain parts and ser­vice requirements for en­gines and trucks bear­ing the iconic name­plate.

And it’ll be the same dealer group left to wres­tle with the wrath of dis­grun­tled op­er­a­tors who took the Cat truck plunge be­liev­ing – naively per­haps, given Cater­pil­lar’s 2008 de­ser­tion from the on-high­way truck en­gine busi­ness – that the mas­ter of buck­ets and blades would not aban­don its truck­ing faith­ful a sec­ond time. Naïve in­deed! Even so, in the cold, hard light of com­mer­cial re­al­ity, any ca­pit­u­la­tion of the Cat brand from the truck busi­ness should not come as a com­plete sur­prise. Af­ter all, sales num­bers over the past few years in par­tic­u­lar tell the sim­ple, som­bre truth that Cat trucks have not done well, fail­ing dis­mally on the back of

“In all of 2016, just 63 Cat-branded trucks were sold across the coun­try”

a brazen be­lief that a Cat badge and yel­low en­gine would be enough to en­sure suc­cess and, in the process, dis­solve the dis­ap­point­ment of its ’08 exit.

In all of 2016, just 63 Cat-branded trucks were sold across the coun­try, rep­re­sent­ing a minis­cule 0.6 per cent of the to­tal Aus­tralian mar­ket for heavy- duty trucks.

This year is shap­ing to be no bet­ter with a pal­try 31 trucks de­liv­ered in the first six months.

Ob­vi­ously enough, these are not fig­ures to build faith in the fu­ture, nor a fis­cal foun­da­tion com­men­su­rate with the requirements of a hugely com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try where truck op­er­a­tors are spoilt for choice. So given the num­bers, Cat’s dawdling demise from the truck­ing fra­ter­nity has over the past few years at least be­come in­creas­ingly pre­dictable.

MIXED MARRIAGE

No mat­ter how you look at it, though, it’s all a far cry from the hype and hope of 2010, when the world’s first Cat-branded high­way trucks were launched in a big-bud­get event un­der the star-speck­led sky of cen­tral Aus­tralia.

In close to 40 years of re­port­ing on trucks from al­most ev­ery part of Earth, I’ve man­aged to col­lect a few me­men­toes from one new model launch or an­other, but among the most in­trigu­ing is a framed boomerang ac­com­pa­nied by a small plaque stat­ing ‘Cat Trucks World Launch, Uluru Aus­tralia 2010’.

Se­ri­ously, as far as truck launches go, it would take some­thing very spe­cial to beat the Cat trucks re­lease at Uluru. Stun­ning!

Funny thing, though, I’d been to an­other im­pres­sive truck launch in the same place un­der the same star- speck­led sky more than a decade ear­lier when Iveco launched the orig­i­nal, uniquely styled ‘Darth Vader’ Pow­er­star. The irony, of course, is that Iveco is once again in cor­po­rate ca­hoots with In­ter­na­tional par­ent Nav­is­tar for the sup­ply of the In­ter­na­tional ProS­tar model on which the Cat truck is based.

How­ever, back in 2010, there was def­i­nitely no love lost be­tween Iveco and In­ter­na­tional. To cut a long story very short, the two had en­joyed a rea­son­ably suc­cess­ful as­so­ci­a­tion for sev­eral years, with Iveco as­sem­bling and sell­ing In­ter­na­tional 7600, 9200 and 9900 mod­els. Even to­day, there are peo­ple who be­moan the de­par­ture of those trucks from the Aus­tralian mar­ket – not least a few who still work for Iveco.

Any­way, the as­so­ci­a­tion with Iveco came to a blunt end af­ter Nav­is­tar and Cat con­spired to form an en­tity

called NC2, or ‘NC squared’ as some would call it.

Code-named ‘Big Tuna’ in its for­ma­tive phase, the deal be­tween Cat and Nav­is­tar had been on the draw­ing board for quite a while, with some US com­men­ta­tors sug­gest­ing that at least part of the rea­son for NC2’s cre­ation came from Cat’s be­grudg­ing re­al­i­sa­tion that its much-touted ACERT tech­nol­ogy was not the North Amer­i­can suc­cess it had hoped for.

More to the point, per­haps, Cat viewed the in­creas­ing preva­lence of US truck mak­ers sport­ing their own en­gines ( Paccar MX, Daim­ler and Detroit, Volvo and Mack) as a di­rect im­ped­i­ment to the on­go­ing vi­a­bil­ity of its on-high­way truck en­gine busi­ness.

Con­se­quently, with a dwin­dling slice of the North Amer­i­can heavy­duty truck busi­ness, and faced with mas­sive de­vel­op­ment costs if it were to meet the US 2010 emis­sions stan­dard, Cat in 2008 threw in the towel, hang­ing up the gloves in its long and loud tech­nol­ogy battle with Cum­mins and Detroit.

More ap­peal­ing, cer­tainly more con­ve­nient, vastly less ex­pen­sive, and a seem­ingly prac­ti­cal way of ex­port­ing en­gine stocks soon to be ob­so­lete in the US, was the prospect of ‘cre­at­ing’ its own brand of high­way truck for mar­kets with less de­mand­ing emis­sions con­straints. Aus­tralia, for ex­am­ple! And judg­ing by early com­ments by peo­ple like for­mer Wes­trac chief Jim Walker, there were powerful Cat deal­ers in Aus­tralia right on side with the prospect of again adding the truck­ing in­dus­try to the busi­ness port­fo­lio.

All Cat needed was an agree­able truck maker to share the risk and, maybe, the re­wards. For what­ever rea­sons, Nav­is­tar bit the bul­let, big time!

How­ever, as time would also show, not every­one within Nav­is­tar’s ex­ec­u­tive sanc­tum was in love with the idea of a close cou­pling with Cat. Dur­ing a visit to Nav­is­tar’s Chicago head­quar­ters in late 2014, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive, who would soon be one of sev­eral Nav­is­tar vet­er­ans sent to Aus­tralia to sort out the af­ter­math of the NC2 ker­fuf­fle, openly con­ceded that the deal with Cat was flawed from the start.

His blunt and fiercely ex­pressed opin­ion, like sev­eral oth­ers dur­ing and af­ter that trip, was that rather than climb into the cor­po­rate cot with Cat, In­ter­na­tional would’ve been bet­ter served by ei­ther con­tin­u­ing its es­tab­lished re­la­tion­ship with Iveco, or en­ter­ing the Aus­tralian mar­ket with a di­rect fac­tory-backed op­er­a­tion. Or, given the fact Nav­is­tar had plenty of press­ing is­sues in the US to con­tend with, maybe for­get about the Aus­tralian busi­ness al­to­gether.

Like it or not, though, NC2 went ahead and the deal was for­malised in the US in Septem­ber 2009. Ini­tial in­di­ca­tions were that any Cat-branded truck would be de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for heavy haulage, mainly vo­ca­tional work in oil fields, mine sites and the like with mod­els known as the CT660 and, later, CT680.

It was soon ap­par­ent, how­ever, that much big­ger plans were at play with de­vel­op­ment of the CT610 and CT630 high­way mod­els, pow­ered by Cat’s C13 and C15 ACERT en­gines re­spec­tively. The trucks were to be ini­tially based on In­ter­na­tional’s TranStar and ProS­tar mod­els but it wasn’t long be­fore both would be built on the sleek ProS­tar plat­form.

Yet while the 2010 Uluru event was a ‘world-first’ un­veil­ing of Cat-branded high­way trucks, it was ac­tu­ally a press con­fer­ence at a Mel­bourne truck show ear­lier the same year – less than two years af­ter Cater­pil­lar’s de­par­ture from the on-high­way en­gine busi­ness and just a few weeks af­ter scrap­ping the re­la­tion­ship with Iveco Trucks Aus­tralia – which left no doubt of NC2’s in­ten­tion to make a bold play for the Aus­tralian mar­ket, among oth­ers.

MEN AND MA­CHINES

There were big plans for NC2, in­clud­ing talk of a Cat-badged cab- over, and a state­ment is­sued at the Mel­bourne press con­fer­ence pro­claimed: “The joint ven­ture lever­ages the po­tent com­bi­na­tion of Nav­is­tar’s truck man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­per­tise and Cater­pil­lar’s powerful global net­work [and] a 2010 busi­ness plan has been for­malised em­brac­ing high-po­ten­tial mar­kets, with ini­tial fo­cus on Aus­tralia, Brazil and South Africa.”

Aus­tralia was de­fined as a ‘high­pri­or­ity’ mar­ket and, as events would soon re­veal, it cer­tainly rated higher than Brazil and South Africa, where Cat trucks sim­ply failed to launch. Soon enough, the big plans would be in dis­ar­ray, if not de­cay.

Mean­time, head­ing the Mel­bourne press con­fer­ence was Nav­is­tar ex­ec­u­tive and NC2 pres­i­dent Al Saltiel, along­side for­mer Volvo Aus­tralia op­er­a­tive Jeff Tyzack, newly ap­pointed as NC2 gen­eral man­ager of sales and mar­ket­ing.

In the back­ground, though, stand­ing qui­etly at the back of the room among a group of Cat and Nav­is­tar ex­ec­u­tives, was a man well known to the Aus­tralian mar­ket – Cater­pil­lar’s Bill Ful­ton.

Cor­po­rate Cat to the core, Ful­ton was the front man for the truck en­gine busi­ness in Aus­tralia when Cat pulled the plug in 2008.

Beat­ing a hasty re­treat, he was soon back in the US, ef­fec­tively aban­don­ing Cat’s lo­cal and in­cred­i­bly loyal rep­re­sen­ta­tives to face the ire of an army of en­gine cus­tomers bleed­ing yel­low blood. Lit­tle was heard of Ful­ton again un­til 2011 when he be­came the first of a string of man­ag­ing di­rec­tors to head the truck busi­ness based at Cat’s Tul­la­ma­rine

“Nav­is­tar bit the bul­let, big time!”

( Vic) fa­cil­ity. In an in­ter­view soon af­ter tak­ing the reins of Cat trucks here, Ful­ton was asked: “Do you con­cede that Cat’s de­par­ture [from the on-high­way en­gine busi­ness] was badly man­aged and left a sour taste in the mouths of Aus­tralian cus­tomers who had been loyal to Cat?”

In what could only be termed a soft re­sponse, he replied: “From a com­mu­ni­ca­tions stand­point, we could’ve han­dled it bet­ter,” then pro­ceeded to de­liver a lengthy and long over­due com­men­tary on Cat’s rea­sons for the en­gine exit.

Nonethe­less, it first seemed Bill Ful­ton and Jeff Tyzack, backed by the prag­matic Adrian Wright as chief en­gi­neer and the in­no­va­tive mar­ket­ing mind of Glen Shar­man, would pro­vide a solid plat­form for the long-term fu­ture of the Cat trucks’ ex­pe­di­tion into one of the world’s tough­est truck mar­kets.

Un­for­tu­nately, it wasn’t to be, and, for rea­sons which have never be­come clear, Tyzack de­parted sud­denly, tak­ing with him the lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ence so crit­i­cal to the brand’s for­ma­tive per­for­mance in a hugely com­pet­i­tive mar­ket.

Yet Bill Ful­ton’s ten­ure wasn’t too ex­ten­sive ei­ther. Just a year or so later, he, too, was gone as NC2 un­rav­elled and Nav­is­tar hur­riedly took con­trol, cre­at­ing a com­pany called Nav­is­tar Aus­pac to im­port CT610 and CT630 mod­els built and mar­keted un­der a li­cens­ing agree­ment with Cat.

How­ever, man­age­ment struc­tures at Nav­is­tar Aus­pac have been noth­ing short of far­ci­cal. Ap­pointed to run the new en­tity af­ter serv­ing a short stint as Ful­ton’s lieu­tenant was for­mer Detroit Diesel and Freight­liner ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Dennis.

But he didn’t last long ei­ther, opt­ing to join the bur­geon­ing Penske or­gan­i­sa­tion, where he is now man­ag­ing direc­tor of Penske Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles. Af­ter that, Nav­is­tar Aus­pac sailed un­der a cou­ple of short-term masters re­trieved from In­ter­na­tional’s ex­ec­u­tive archives: the tac­i­turn Dave Allen and the like­able Tim Quin­lan, each ul­ti­mately fol­low­ing the other into re­tire­ment.

Left to steady the ship, at least in an op­er­a­tional sense, were the two peo­ple who had re­mained loyal to the Cat cause from day one, Glen Shar­man and Adrian Wright. Soon enough, Shar­man’s days were done, while Wright is now largely en­sconced in the lat­est Iveco and In­ter­na­tional ven­ture.

What’s left is a jum­bled Nav­is­tar Aus­pac Cat trucks op­er­a­tion run by a skele­ton staff guided again by vet­eran In­ter­na­tional ex­ec­u­tives in­clud­ing one based in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa. Go fig­ure!

For a short while, how­ever, Bill Ful­ton wasn’t com­pletely out of the pic­ture. Back in the US, he was next seen in a video pro­mot­ing Cat’s de­ci­sion to sep­a­rate from Nav­is­tar and go its own way with build­ing the square-jawed CT660 and CT680 on-high­way vo­ca­tional mod­els.

Yet de­spite the claims of greater com­mit­ment to truck op­er­a­tors, Cat’s de­ci­sion to go it alone with the vo­ca­tional trucks was soon an­other dead ven­ture. In early 2016, Cat HQ in Peo­ria, Illi­nois, is­sued a state­ment an­nounc­ing the end of pro­duc­tion of its vo­ca­tional trucks, cit­ing the busi­ness cli­mate in the truck in­dus­try and a thor­ough eval­u­a­tion of its own busi­ness as its rea­sons for with­draw­ing from the mar­ket.

In com­ments re­mark­ably sim­i­lar to those made in 2008 when it pulled out of the truck en­gine busi­ness, a Cater­pil­lar spokesman ex­plained: “Re­main­ing a vi­able com­peti­tor in this mar­ket would re­quire sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional in­vest­ment to de­velop and launch a com­plete port­fo­lio of trucks, and upon an up­dated re­view, we de­ter­mined there was not a suf­fi­cient mar­ket op­por­tu­nity to jus­tify the in­vest­ment.”

Cat was fi­nally and of­fi­cially wip­ing its paws of the truck busi­ness. Over and out!

In cor­po­rate terms, the ball was now com­pletely in Nav­is­tar’s court, ba­si­cally left to pick up the pieces, with Cat’s only ap­par­ent in­volve­ment be­ing con­tin­u­a­tion of the li­cens­ing agree­ment to use the brand and the yel­low en­gine.

Still, Nav­is­tar Aus­pac at least at­tempted to de­liver some­thing more than sim­ply a con­tin­u­a­tion of a Cat trucks busi­ness strug­gling for ex­is­tence in a crowded mar­ket. In fact, and de­spite the chasms of cor­po­rate com­plex­ity, lo­cal en­gi­neer­ing con­tin­ued to pro­duce mod­els well suited to the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

With the ver­sa­tile ProS­tar ob­vi­ously pro­vid­ing the plat­form, the stan­dard day cab, ex­tended sleeper and the flag­ship CT630LS mod­els were joined by the CT630S for high­vol­ume B-dou­ble work and, soon af­ter, its full sleeper ver­sion – the im­pres­sive CT630SC. Last came the CT630HD, a model aimed at sat­is­fy­ing the re­quire­ment for a triples-rated prime mover.

But again, as the num­bers tes­tify, it has all been to lit­tle avail.

Nav­is­tar’s end game, it ap­pears, is to see the Cat ven­ture to its in­evitable end while se­cur­ing the plat­form for the rein­tro­duc­tion of the In­ter­na­tional brand through a new deal with Iveco. For­tu­nately, ProS­tar in Cat guise has at least shown its abil­ity to be

“The prod­uct and its cus­tomers de­served bet­ter”

a durable and ver­sa­tile com­peti­tor un­der Aus­tralian con­di­tions.

And therein re­sides the great dis­ap­point­ment and even sad­ness of the Cat trucks ad­ven­ture – the prod­uct and its cus­tomers de­served bet­ter. So, too, did some of the peo­ple at both com­pany and dealer level who gave the ex­er­cise their best shot and stayed loyal de­spite mar­ket ad­ver­sity and re­mark­able cor­po­rate in­ep­ti­tude.

There’s no ques­tion that across Aus­tralia there are many op­er­a­tors more than sat­is­fied with their de­ci­sion to buy a Cat truck. In far more cases than not – ev­ery­where from Dar­win to Tas­ma­nia, Bris­bane, Syd­ney, Mel­bourne across to Ade­laide and Perth, even the desert heart of the coun­try – var­i­ous Cat mod­els have show­cased in­her­ently high stan­dards of handling and road man­ners, re­li­a­bil­ity, per­for­mance, fuel ef­fi­ciency and com­fort which have at least kept the prod­uct re­spectable.

In short, the truck has shown it­self to be far more re­silient than the brand.

Other is­sues, how­ever, have not been so great. Cat ser­vice in some ar­eas has not been up to scratch, but ar­guably the great­est detri­ment to the prod­uct’s progress has been the in­con­sis­tency of the en­tire ex­er­cise and, specif­i­cally, the lack of cor­po­rate com­mit­ment right from the start.

In fact, it’s at the start where we prob­a­bly find the most salient rea­sons for the end.

… AND FI­NALLY!

Again, the Uluru launch of Cat trucks was ex­cep­tional in scale and scope. About 300 guests and their part­ners were flown in to be part of a ‘world-first’ event with the sole aim of let­ting the wider world know that the vast Cat or­gan­i­sa­tion, with all its strength, re­sources and wealth, had part­nered with truck man­u­fac­tur­ing gi­ant Nav­is­tar to en­ter the on-high­way truck busi­ness. But only out­side North Amer­ica.

Of course, there were those among the au­di­ence who still car­ried a sour taste of Cat’s re­treat from the truck en­gine busi­ness, and, as one yel­low­blooded fleet owner told me at Uluru, “It came as a shock and, fair dinkum, gut­ted us.

“We’d been loyal to Cat for years and I’d hate to think they’d do it again if the trucks didn’t live up to their sales tar­gets over the next few years.” Lit­tle did he re­alise!

How­ever, such was the pas­sion for yel­low iron that the same man was among many to say he would not let his dis­ap­point­ment of Cat’s with­drawal from the en­gine busi­ness de­ter his con­sid­er­a­tion of a Cat truck. But what may have de­terred him, at least ini­tially, was the price.

De­spite the fact that the first CT610 and CT630 mod­els had a rel­a­tively lim­ited spec­i­fi­ca­tion and were un­tried in the Aus­tralian mar­ket, NC2 chief Al Saltiel was de­ter­mined to la­bel Cat a top-shelf con­tender. In­deed, the vo­cif­er­ous claim was that the Cats were equal to any other pre­mier brand on the mar­ket and would there­fore come with a pre­mium price.

This was de­spite the fact that many peo­ple at the launch event saw the Cats fit­ting neatly into the void left by the re­cently de­funct and rel­a­tively ba­sic Ster­ling brand, rather than match­ing it for qual­ity and price with the likes of Ken­worth and Western Star.

Yet Al Saltiel stuck stub­bornly to the script. In fact, sev­eral times dur­ing an oc­ca­sion­ally testy press con­fer­ence, Saltiel was asked if he was be­ing overly op­ti­mistic or even ar­ro­gant in his as­sess­ment of the Cat trucks’ po­si­tion against such es­tab­lished com­pe­ti­tion. And each time he fired back with in­creas­ing an­noy­ance that Cat was at least the equal of any brand in the mar­ket.

As time would soon show, though, an in­de­fen­si­bly in­flated price tag would be one of the big­gest bar­ri­ers in Cat’s early ef­forts to build a foun­da­tion in the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

Back at Uluru, much hype also sur­rounded the fact that Cat en­gines were back in the Aus­tralian mar­ket. Fair enough, but the hype was part­nered by an undis­guised as­sump­tion that lovers of yel­low iron would be only too happy to buy a truck car­ry­ing the same badge as the en­gine. A big as­sump­tion in­deed.

Like­wise, a big noise was made about the lo­cal as­sem­bly of the trucks at Cat’s Tul­la­ma­rine plant. About 540 trucks would ul­ti­mately be built there, all hastily put to­gether to beat the dead­line for a new emis­sions stan­dard (ADR 80/03).

Af­ter they were built, though, work­ers were paid off and trucks were sim­ply im­ported from the US.

How­ever, the im­pacts of high price, a largely un­tried truck, a glut of stock with age­ing com­pli­ance plates, and back­lash from Cat’s exit from the en­gine busi­ness – even to­day, it’s hard to know if Cat and, to a lesser ex­tent, Nav­is­tar, ever fully com­pre­hended the ex­tent of de­ri­sion – all com­bined to make Cat a hard sell.

Yet none of these things en­tered the equa­tion at Uluru and it was, I must ad­mit, easy to be caught up in the hype and the hope. The prod­uct had po­ten­tial, no risk.

Here’s the thing, though. As fes­tiv­i­ties at The Rock drew to a close, it be­came bla­tantly clear that no one from Cat in the US had even both­ered to at­tend the launch. Sure, there were a cou­ple of Cat’s lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives, but the si­lence from head of­fice in Peo­ria was as deaf­en­ing then as it is now. Any­way, I still have the boomerang to prove I was there. Bet­ter still, I reckon it’s the non-re­turn­ing type.

Nav­is­tar US ex­ec­u­tive and first pres­i­dent of the failed NC2 ven­ture, Al Saltiel at the spec­tac­u­lar 2010 launch of Cat trucks in Cen­tral Aus­tralia. No one from Cat in the US both­ered to at­tend

Smiles all round in late 2011: Left to right, Jeff Tyzack and Bill Ful­ton be­fore an ac­ri­mo­nious split, and for­mer Wes­trac chief Jim Walker. Un­for­tu­nately, ‘100% Com­mit­ted’ proved to be a hol­low claim XXXX

Flag­ship: Cat CT630LS work­ing for Dunn’s Earth­mov­ing in the harsh con­di­tions of the Moomba oil and gas fields. In more cases than not, dura­bil­ity has been a strong point for Cat trucks

Yel­low iron: C15 ACERT en­gine did well in Aus­tralia but Cat’s abrupt 2008 de­par­ture from the truck en­gine busi­ness left a sour taste. Cre­at­ing a Cat truck did lit­tle to soften the scars

Con­struc­tion Cat: ini­tial thoughts were that Nav­is­tar and Cat would build vo­ca­tional mod­els only but big­ger plans were in play. Even so, Cat would even­tu­ally walk away from the truck busi­ness com­pletely

De­spite the cor­po­rate com­plex­i­ties, lo­cal prod­uct de­vel­op­ment con­tin­ued with mod­els such as the CT630S de­signed specif­i­cally for Aus­tralian B-dou­ble work

In­ter­na­tional ProS­tar pro­vided the plat­form for the Cat trucks ex­er­cise and is now the foun­da­tion of a re­newed re­la­tion­ship be­tween Nav­is­tar and Iveco

Triples rated: CT630HD was the last ma­jor lo­cal de­vel­op­ment for Cat trucks in Aus­tralia. Op­er­a­tor in­ter­est was stymied by ques­tions over Cat’s fu­ture

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.