Monday, April 4, 2016

Dead Cat in Middle of the Road

Readers of my post on Cat trucks the other day were kind enough to point out that I had missed the news that Cat has opted to cease production of their on-the-road trucks. The announcement from Cat on February 26, 2016 stated in effect that market conditions didn't warrant further production and no more orders would be taken. Presumably there are some new trucks still in the pipeline, and some orders to be filled, but soon there will be no more new Cats.

One of Atlantic Tiltload's Cats was out and about making deliveries today, undeterred by the news that there will be no more new Cats on the road.

The Cat on-the-road truck came about in 2011 in partnership with Navistar, which built the trucks at their Escobedo, Mexico plant. Navistar was developing a 15L engine to complement the 13L engine, which would potentially have increased sales, particularly in Canada. However in July 2015 Navistar announced that they were ending the partnership and would begin to produce their own similar vocational vehicle the HX, "inspired" by the Cat, however they were shelving plans for the 15L engine.

Caterpillar then said they would continue production of their truck, moving the assembly to a plant in Victoria, TX, and would be developing their own 15L engine. That move never took place, and Cat will be out of the truck manufacturing business. They will continue to service and supply parts for the Cat truck.
Cat will still produce off-the-road vehicles as they always have, but there is no word on the 15L engine.

So Cat joins the list of recent casualties in the heavy truck business, notably Sterling, becoming another dead cat in the road. Due the longevity of some trucks however we can expect to see the brand on the road for many years to come, but becoming rarer and rarer as time goes on. 

I guess Cat was trying to capitalize on its name brand recognition, but it just never took off. 

  White on white motif struck me as Clearway Cat disembarked from the Toronto Island ferry in 2014.

And to add to the previous post, here is the same G+R Kelly Cat, but with its plow attached, back in 2013.

So far I have yet to take a picture of the axle forward Cat model.

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