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Caterpillar to Expand Operations in LaGrange

Wednesday, September 14, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Caterpillar, Inc. is expanding its operations with an additional manufacturing facility in LaGrange, Georgia.

“Caterpillar is a great American company and a valued part of Georgia’s business community,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I am very proud that Caterpillar has chosen to build upon their success and expand their operations in LaGrange.”

The expansion includes a total investment of $6 million and will create up to 70 new jobs. A total of 76,000 square feet of manufacturing space that was vacated earlier this year will be used as a logistics center to support the expanded production. The expansion project is expected to be operational by October.

“We’ve had a great deal of success in LaGrange with the production of our Wheel Skidder line and we intend to build on that success,” said John Carpenter, Caterpillar global forestry general manager. “The community has been great partners with Caterpillar over the past several years, working together to make a world-class forestry product. We hope to continue in that tradition for years to come with the product additions announced today.”

“On behalf of the Development Authority of LaGrange, we are very excited that Caterpillar chose LaGrange for this expansion,” said Bobby Carmichael, vice chairman of the Development Authority of LaGrange. “Caterpillar has been a good community citizen and we look forward to continued growth from them.”

Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company opened a forestry machine assembly facility in LaGrange in 1997 and currently produces three models of Wheel Skidders, employing approximately 60 people. The number of employees is expected to double over the next year with the expansion and consolidation of operations. These plans include the addition of Wheel Skidder fabrication work, plus assembly and fabrication operations for the company’s line of Track Feller Bunchers currently based in Aurora, Illinois, will also be re-established in LaGrange. Caterpillar Logistics Services will open a new facility as well to provide manufacturing logistics support for the expanded operations, supplying parts and material for the Wheel Skidder and Feller Buncher assembly.

“Caterpillar’s LaGrange facility already employs more than 60 employees, which makes it a major contributor to the area’s economy,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Craig Lesser. “As we work hard to encourage companies to relocate to Georgia, we also want to ensure that our existing businesses are expanding here. This announcement today demonstrates that we are succeeding.”