Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, natural gas and diesel engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel electric locomotives.
Huge blocks, painted yellow, with high power and torque, fame for being indestructible and an unmistakable roar, move thousands of trucks all over the world. Caterpillar stopped manufacturing road engines on the last day of 2009, but the fame of the brand’s engines continues.
Caterpillar began supplying truck engines in the 1960s to Ford Trucks in the United States. The 1100 series engines had 220 horsepower, and equipped more than 160,000 Ford trucks in just a few years. With that, the Caterpillar name was established, which stopped meaning only yellow line machines to become one of the best engine suppliers in the world.
The company remained firm in the business, but over the years, new emissions regulations began to be created. Until 2004, Caterpillar was able to follow the required protocols, but after that, it became very expensive to follow in this segment.
In part, this is due to the fact that most North American assemblers, Caterpillar’s main market, started to use their own engines in their trucks. Volvo and Mack now have Volvo engines as standard, with Cummins and Caterpillar models becoming optional. The same with Kenworth and Peterbilt, with Paccar engines, and Freightliner, which acquired Detroit Diesel and preferred that brand for the models produced by it.
Caterpillar’s engine sales revenue was never significant within the business, and despite the large sales, it never represented even 10% of total revenue. Even so, it was one of the areas that most demanded investments, in order to comply with the new emission rules, which became unfeasible.