The History of Caterpillar
1890. Benjamin Holt and Daniel Best experimented with various forms of steam tractors for use in farming. They did so separately, with separate companies.
1904. Holt's first steam track-type tractor.
1906. Holt's first gas track-type tractor.
1915. Holt "Caterpillar®" track-type tractors are used by the Allies in World War I.
1925. The Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Co. merge to form Caterpillar Tractor Co.
1931. The first Diesel Sixty Tractor rolled off the assembly line in East Peoria, Illinois, with a new efficient source of power for track-type tractors.
1940. The Caterpillar product line now included motor graders, blade graders, elevating graders, terracers and electrical generating sets.
1942. Caterpillar track-type tractors, motor graders, generators sets and a special engine for the M4 tank are used by the United States in its war effort.
1950. Caterpillar Tractor Co. Ltd. in Great Britain is established, the first of many overseas operations created to help manage foreign exchange shortages, tariffs, import controls and better serve customers around the world.
1953. In 1931, the company created a separate engine sales group to market diesel engines to other equipment manufacturers. This group was replaced in 1953 with a separate sales and marketing division to better serve the needs of a broad range of engine customers. Engine sales now account for approximately one-third of the company's total sales and revenues.
1963. Caterpillar and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. form one of the first joint ventures in Japan to include partial U.S. ownership. Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd. started production in 1965, has been renamed Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd., and is now the No. 2 maker of construction and mining equipment in Japan.
1981-83. The worldwide recession took its toll on Caterpillar, costing the company the equivalent of $1 million a day and forcing it to dramatically reduce employment.
1983. Caterpillar Leasing Company is expanded to offer equipment financing options to its customers worldwide and is renamed Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation.
1985-present. The product line continued to diversify to meet a variety of customer needs. More than 300 products are now offered, more than double the figure in 1981.
1986. The Caterpillar Tractor Co. changes its name to Caterpillar Inc. - a more accurate reflection of the enterprise's growing diversity.
1987. A $1.8 billion plant modernization program was launched to streamline the manufacturing process.
1990. The company decentralized its structure, reorganizing into business units responsible for return on assets and customer satisfaction.
1997. The company continued to expand, acquiring the U.K.-based Perkins Engines. With the addition of Germany's MaK Motoren the previous year, Caterpillar becomes the world leader in diesel engine manufacturing.
1998. The world's largest off-highway truck - the 797 - makes its debut at the Cat Proving Ground in Arizona.
1999. Caterpillar unveils new line of compact construction equipment at CONEXPO, world's largest construction show, in response to changing customer needs for smaller, more versatile construction equipment.
2000. Caterpillar celebrates its 75th anniversary.
2001. Caterpillar is the first company to globally launch 6 Sigma and deliver first-year benefits in excess of implementation costs.
2003. Caterpillar becomes the first engine manufacturer to offer a complete line of 2004 model year clean diesel engines fully compliant and certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Caterpillar's breakthrough emissions control technology, known as ACERT®, is designed to comply with EPA standards without sacrificing performance, reliability or fuel efficiency.
2005. Demonstrating a pledge to sustainable development, Caterpillar responded to a number of tragedies around the world, including the Asian Tsunami disaster, hurricanes along the U.S. Gulf Coast and earthquakes in South Asia. In the face of each of these challenges, employees, dealers and corporate leaders alike joined together to build a promise of hope and growth for all those affected by donating machinery, money and resources for relief and recovery efforts.
2006. Benjamin Holt, one of Caterpillar Inc.'s founding fathers and designer of the first track-type tractor was recognized for his ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit with an induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
2006. Caterpillar Inc. subsidiary Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. (Cat Logistics) opens a new parts distribution center in the Lingang Industrial Area in Shanghai.
2006. Caterpillar launched a revised and updated Worldwide Code of Conduct and Enterprise Strategy. Serving new markets and new customers in new ways, Caterpillar welcomed the opportunity to experience unchartered growth across all business ventures.