At the Bauma trade show last week in Munich, Germany, I sat down with a small group of editors to talk with several Caterpillar vice presidents. Here’s a look at some of the give and take:
Because the machines cannot run on the higher sulfur fuel in lower-regulated countries, can you say anything about how Cat will address the Tier 4 resale issues?
“We recognize that resale is an important part of how our product flows around the world. We’re working on a process with our dealer channel that will enable some regions of the world — depending on the sulfur content in their fuel—to use Tier 4 equipment.”
-Karl Weiss, vice president, earthmoving division.
How do you view the advance of your Chinese competitors?
“As they develop their products—and their prices—to a higher level, we feel more comfortable that we can compete well with them. Our strength is our distribution model, which the Chinese brands do not have.”
Will there be a Tier 5?
“It seems as though we’re going to have a bit of a break. After the emissions reduction drive during the past few years, it will be nice to concentrate our technology research on machine features.”
-Paolo Fellin, vice president, global construction and infrastructure
“If you look at the value of the new products we’ve introduced, it’s really not about Tier 4. You would think Tier 4 would be the leading theme, but it’s completely flipped around. It’s a given that we will comply with the regulations, but we’re also looking at providing the best value. Customers want something extra, not just clean air.”
-Mary Bell, vice president, building construction products division