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Caterpillar chooses N.C. over Upstate

GSA Daily Staff Report
Published July 30, 2010

Caterpiller Inc. announced plans today to build a $426 million plant in Winston-Salem, N.C. that will employ 400 people.

Caterpillar had considered a site in Spartanburg County for the new facility, which would have been a substantial expansion of an already growing presence in the Upstate. Caterpillar announced plans in March, for example, to expand the Newberry generator set facility it opened in 2006 by hiring 500 over the next several years. Caterpillar also assembles marine propulsion engines from a facility in Fountain Inn it opened in 2007.

Also in South Carolina, the Peoria, Ill.-based company operates facilities in Jackson, Newberry, Ridgeville, Summerville and Sumter.

But on Friday, Caterpillar said it chose Winston-Salem over sites in Spartanburg and Montgomery, Ala.

Previous coverage
Caterpillar considers Upstate for plant
Caterpillar to expand in Newberry

According to news reports in North Carolina, state officials there voted today to award Caterpillar incentives worth up to $16.8 million if it meets hiring goals. Local officials in Winston-Salem also reportedly offered the company additional incentives that could push the total to more than $40 million.

The 850,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will increase capacity for Caterpillar’s expanding global mining operations through the machining, assembly, test and painting of axle assemblies for large mining machines.

"Caterpillar has worked hard with many local partners in North Carolina, and we thank them for their assistance during the site selection process," said Hans Haefeli, vice president of Caterpillar's advanced components and systems division. "We look forward to establishing our new lower powertrain facility in Winston-Salem, which will allow us to substantially increase our capacity, improve process capability, flexibility and flow of our operations. This location will improve our supply chain efficiency and, as a result, allows us to better serve our customers more effectively while reducing operating costs."

Construction is expected to begin in early November, the company said, with production at the facility beginning in the first quarter of 2012. When the plant is fully operational, it is expected to employ roughly 400 workers over a five-year period.

Caterpillar currently employs roughly 1,000 full-time workers in North Carolina. The company has locations throughout the state in Cary, Charlotte, Clayton, Franklin, Goldsboro, Morganton, New Bern, Sanford and Smithfield.

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