Notes on Caterpillar Inc
A new president, Tetsuya Katada, took over in 1989. Katada decided that Komatsu's management had been hampered to some extent by the company's goal of catching Caterpillar. Whereas this strategy had worked remarkably well in expanding the company while the global market was growing, now that worldwide demand for construction equipment was down, Komatsu did not have the flexibility to adapt. Katada believed that the creativity of Komatsu's middle managers had been sacrificed while everyone was concentrating on Caterpillar, and that managers had grown afraid to question the direction of the company. Katada's solution was to stop comparing Komatsu to Caterpillar. He encouraged managers to think of Komatsu as a "total technology enterprise," and to find new products and markets that fit the wider definition of the company. Komatsu's new goal became the somewhat broader "Growth, Global, Groupwide," with a more concrete aim to double sales by the mid-1990s. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/komatsu-ltd-history/ (last accessed 15 November 2012)
Is Caterpillar Back on Track?
Posted on April 29, 2004
By Michael Arndt
For once, some good news from a heartland manufacturer: On Apr. 22, Caterpillar (CAT) surprised investors with blockbuster first-quarter results. The maker of heavy equipment and engines reported that sales leaped 34%, to $6.47 billion, a first-quarter record, while profits more than tripled, also a period best. Price increases of 1.5%, imposed across the board on Jan. 1, lifted both sales and profits by $74 million. More important was an upsurge in orders throughout Cat's product line and in virtually every geographic market.
Better yet, Caterpillar expects the good news to just keep rolling in. It forecasts that profits will be at least 65% higher this year, instead of 40%, while sales are projected to rise 20%, up from its previous prediction of 12%.
If the forecast turns out to be accurate, Cat