While many industry veterans continue to ride out the recession, Caterpillar Inc. has posted a record increase in sales and revenues for 2011 – Their largest percentage increase in any year since 1947. Caterpillar has stated a figure of $60.138 billion, an increase of 41% from $42.588 billion in 2010.
How did they do it? The percentage increase was largely driven by demand for products and services outside the United States.
"Our strategy is squarely focused on customers, and in 2011 our employees, suppliers and dealers delivered. We improved product quality, invested significantly in manufacturing capacity and product development, and improved our market position. We completed two large acquisitions—Bucyrus and Motoren-Werke Mannheim Holding GmbH (MWM)—in important growth industries that are a great strategic fit and provide our customers an even broader range of products," says Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman.
In most developed countries, sales increased significantly despite relatively weak construction activity. The improvement in sales was largely driven by the need for customers to upgrade machine fleets by replacing older equipment and from dealers refreshing equipment in their rental fleets.
Despite the increase from a year ago, sales of new machines to customers in developed countries remain significantly below previous peak levels. The size of rental fleets increased slightly from post-recession lows, but the average age remained historically high.