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Thread: Why did Cat leave the business?

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    Default Why did Cat leave the business?

    For decades Caterpillar made bulletproof engines for big trucks then suddenly they quit. Why would a company give up what seems like a profitable venture?
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    They feel that cant build an egr engine that is up to their standards and the twin turbo was a big disappointment, so they are giving up
    this article is kind of interesting

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=29796
    Last edited by Fredog; 12-25-2009 at 07:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Flyer View Post
    For decades Caterpillar made bulletproof engines for big trucks then suddenly they quit. Why would a company give up what seems like a profitable venture?

    emissions


    They didnt want to deal with all the heavy BS emissions coming out. They make most of their money on the iron. (bulldozers backhoes etc.) On road motors were a small part of the CAT name. So now they are just sticking to Making iron, boat motors and generators cuz they don't have to deal with the emissions like on road motors do.

    Plus with all these truck company's coming out with their own diesels i don't think that help things.
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    It is a shame that CAT has stopped manufacturing class 8 engines. I think that it is still the best engine on the market. I think that they got tired of all the government BS. I can't say that I blame them. The irony is that they can still sell their engines anywhere in the world, but the United States. So American truck owners are penalized for another useless federal mandate. If I remember correctly, CAT has entered a joint venture with International Harvester to market their engines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
    If I remember correctly, CAT has entered a joint venture with International Harvester to market their engines.
    You are right.:thumbsup:
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
    It is a shame that CAT has stopped manufacturing class 8 engines. I think that it is still the best engine on the market. I think that they got tired of all the government BS. I can't say that I blame them. The irony is that they can still sell their engines anywhere in the world, but the United States. So American truck owners are penalized for another useless federal mandate. If I remember correctly, CAT has entered a joint venture with International Harvester to market their engines.
    When I had my truck at the local CAT in Cambridge ON, they told me CAT engines will still be made but under International brand. CAT and Navistar are going to build together a vocational truck for US and Canadian market and it'll be powered by a basically CAT engine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
    It is a shame that CAT has stopped manufacturing class 8 engines. I think that it is still the best engine on the market. I think that they got tired of all the government BS. I can't say that I blame them. The irony is that they can still sell their engines anywhere in the world, but the United States. So American truck owners are penalized for another useless federal mandate. If I remember correctly, CAT has entered a joint venture with International Harvester to market their engines.
    Completely wrong as usual.

    Cat quit making truck engines because;

    1. They were having huge warranty claims with the ACERT engines.

    2. They were losing huge amounts of market share, particularly to Cummins.

    3. The combination of 1 and 2 rendered their truck engine operations unprofitable.

    4. They were unable to meet 2010 emissions standards with their current (ACERT) technology.

    If it was still "the best engine on the market" they wouldn't quit making them. CAT engines have always been heavy, gotten crappy fuel mileage and been absurdly expensive to repair. I used to hate dealing with the local dealer for parts & service (no other option) because of what I referred to as their "cattitude"

    They cannot sell truck engines everywhere else in the world except the U.S. We now have a global emission standard among all developed countries. Every other truck engine manufacturer is able to meet the current standard, CAT can't. CAT is not "being penalized by another useless federal mandate," they lack the technical expertise to meet a global one.

    My understanding of the relationship between CAT & Navistar is that CAT will market a line of vocational trucks aimed at the construction industry that will be powered by Navistar manufactured engines, not the other way around.
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    I remember hearing about is the emissions and that they had some problems with the new acert engines. Paccar and International are coming out with their own engines and Freightliner already has their own engine. I don't recall whether this happened prior to CAT announcing that they would cease manufacturing class 8 engines for the domestic market. I always heard how poor their fuel mileage was until I bought a couple of them. I have gotten about as good fuel mileage with them as I did with Detroit. Fuel mileage has as much or more to do with how you drive than the engines. I have consistently gotten over 6 mpg with my CAT engines. One averages 6.91 with me driving. That isn't too bad. By the way, for the most part emissions is not a worldwide concern. Just look at China, India and some of the other developing countries. They don't seem very concerned. It is primarily the U.S. market that restricts emissions so much. Just another useless EPA mandate designed to restrict competition and destroy another U.S. manufacturer. These mandates have reduced fuel mileage in most cases which causes trucks to use more fuel for the sake of emissions. It seems to me that the more fuel you burn the more pollutants you put into the air. It seems to be counterproductive. Of course, no one said that you had to be intelligent to work for the government.

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    While it was related to emissions, it was simply due to the route they took. ACERT engines are not known for being good on fuel. Massive warranty claims, plus many fleets had trucks equipped with 08 compliant engines parked against the fence. Back in 2004 Cat had around a 40-45% market share. By 08 that dropped to about 15%. Coupled with the economic slowdown they were selling a fraction of the engines they used to. Even before they pulled the plug, Volvo was selling more motors than they were. So there's no way you can blame EPA for that, EPA is just a scapegoat. Paccar was even heavily leaning towards Cummins well before that.

    They were too damn stubborn in 03 saying they never had to use EGR. 08 they started using it. Cat also dragged their asses, and were the last ones complying to the 03/04 regs.

    It's simply the choices they made, and their ass-dragging when it came to compliance. They'd rather sue then figure out how to fix the problem. Kind of like Navistar is doing now. Makes one wonder...

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    I thought that it was Navistar who developed their own engine and was going to allow CAT to put their yellow paint on them. From what you are saying, it is right the opposite? In any case, I wish that they could have gotten something worked out to keep the CAT class 8 engines on the market. I do recall them having some fuel mileage and other problems for a while with those dual turbo's. Man...that would be some serious money if both turbo's blew at the same time. I paid over $1,500 just for one turbo about 2 years ago. If it had been a Cuimmins or Detroit the cost would have been quite a bit less or so the parts guy told me.

    Yes, I believe Paccar had been pushing more Cummins engines of late. I am sure that really impacted CAT's business. It is almost like CAT just gave up on the business rather than find a way to compete. With Paccar coming out with their engine, Volvo pushing their engine and Freightliner having Mercedes and Detroit, it would surely have diminished their market.

    Perhaps the best way they can compete is to put their brand on their own truck. I actually read something about that a few months ago. I don't recall all the particulars. Maybe someone else remembers reading something about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
    I thought that it was Navistar who developed their own engine and was going to allow CAT to put their yellow paint on them.

    They take a Perkins, paint it yellow and call it a CAT apu motor.

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    So what's left? Detroit and Come-Apart?

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    Detroit 60 series and the mercedes will be no longer come next month. Detroit will have the DD13, DD15, and DD16. These of course will only be available in freightliners/western stars.

    Navistar will only have a "maxforce" 13 litre for a while, with a 15 litre coming in about a year(maxipillar). The maxforce 13 litre will be the ONLY engine available for 2010 in Navistar trucks.

    Paccar will have its own engine, the paccar 12.9 MX. It is a European design. They will be available for Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks.

    Volvo will have its own engines, 11 litre 13 litre and 16 litre. Mack will have the same engines, just tuned a little differently. Same block crank and head though.

    Cummins is the only near industry wide engine. The ISX is a 15 litre engine, and the ISX11.9 is the smaller 11.9L engine. Both should be available on every truck except for Navistar trucks. Both engines will feature a European inspired fuel system that allows more flexibility and a wider sweet spot.

    As far as who will have it together for 2010? I have no idea. All platforms seem to have problems. If the DD13 gets turbocompounding, that will be a very good engine. Watch for the ISX11.9 as well. One thing is for sure, stay AWAY from the Navistar engines. Overcomplicated pieces of crap, with way too many heat exchangers for the engine, and a complicated cooling system. I believe around 40% of the exhaust will go back into the engine. When Navistars credits run out(their engines are NOT 2010 compliant, produce about twice as much NOx as required) I see them switching to SCR. If they're stubborn like Cat, they'll go out of business like Cat. Apparently they lost their head engineer recently.

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    I really don't like the idea of a brand specific engine such as Volvo, Navistar, etc., Given the choices you mentioned, Allan, I would opt for Cummins. I would expect that Paccar and Navistar would both experience problems with any new engine. I am not one that usually jumps in with new technology. I prefer to see how it performs for a while before spending my money. I don't want to be one of the Guinea pigs to work out the bugs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allan5oh View Post
    Paccar will have its own engine, the paccar 12.9 MX. It is a European design. They will be available for Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks.

    Is Paccar manufacturing their own engines or is another company in Europe or elsewhere making them with the Paccar name on them?

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    PACCAR teamed up with either DAF or MAN from Europe, can't remember which, for their own powerplant, either of which are well respected firms with sizable volumes of sales around the world.

    There is just so much engineering required to stuff multiple engines into each truck maker's chassis, it isn't worth it to the truck manufacturer to do all that work multiple times, so you get the house brand, and maybe a Cummins option, and that's it.

    As noted, Cat didn't want to continue on highway in the US/Canada as the invetsment didn't look to have a pay-off within the time period that was desired. Cat will be selling 15 litre engines to Navistar, but not until next year at the earliest, and they will be the Maxxforce 15, as noted by the other poster. The trade press suggests that Navistar will be responsible for the emissions side, Cat just will build the basics and pass it over.

    The European Union is approximately the same size as NAFTA, people count wise, with similar emissions regs challenging transportation firms. They have been using SCR for a few years, the technology is not new as we start using it now.

    I agree that holding on for a year to see what bugs emerge in our North American interpretations of this technology would make good business sence.
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    I wonder if you can go to CAT for parts and service or you will need to go back to Navistar for their new engine?

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    A few questions:What does it cost to work on a Cat versus a Cummins dollar wise? Does a Cat really outlast a Cummins mileagewise and does a driver drive a Cat equipped rig the same as he would one with a Cummins or Detroit?
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    A friend of mine rebuilt his Cummins last year and spent just under $10,000. One of my CAT's was rebuilt a few years ago and the final bill was just over $18,000. I checked with my local CAT dealer last year to see what it would cost to do a rebuild on another truck and he gave me a figure of between $10,000-18,000. I think that Cummins is still the least expensive to rebuild with Detroit just a little more. CAT will usually cost more to rebuild. Parts is the main cost difference. To give you an idea of the difference in costs, I bought a turbo for one of the CAT's a couple of years ago and paid about $1,500. A Detroit or Cummins could have been replaced for about half or a little over half that amount. At least that is what my parts guy told me.

    I have over 965,000 on one and have never had a rebuild. In fact, I have never even had to replace the bearings. I am hoping to get over a million on it before having to rebuild it. The other one was rebuilt at around 900,000 miles. I have spoken with a few who have gotten around 1.3 million miles on their CAT's. Several years ago I had an opportunity to speak with my local Detroit dealer about rebuilding a Detroit engine that I owned at the time. He told me the average rebuild time for Detroit was 750,000 miles. I have owned Detroits and have had good service from them, other than the leaks. I have never had a leak problem with CAT.

    Since I have purchased my first CAT, I prefer them to anything else. It does cost more to replace parts but you don't seem to need to work on them as often. I have spoken with others who have had the same experience. If you buy CAT filters you will pay a little more for them than the generics, but I think they are better made. It could be psychological, but with the miles that I have put on my engines something is working and filters are cheaper than a rebuild. If you break it down you probably spend about the same on any of them in the long term. Parts are less on Cummins and Detroit, but seem to require more maintenance or repairs than CAT. However, if a CAT breaks it seems to cost more to have repairs made. CAT engines are also a little heavier than either of the other two engines.

    I have never owned a Cummins so I can't help you with any direct experience with them. I find that my CAT has more torque than the Detroit's that I have owned. I seem to be able to shift a little sooner with the CAT than Detroit.

    Personally, I think CAT is better made, other than some of the ascert engines that they made. Some people even like them. I have another friend who had his acert rebuilt last year and he is getting over 6 mpg with his 379 Pete. He loves it.

    I have friends who think that their Detroit or Cummins is better than CAT. However, I have never gotten as many miles on a Detroit as I have with these CAT engines.

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