If a few statistics that George Taylor, director of Cat's on-highway truck group, advanced at the pre-CONEXPO introduction in Las Vegas are valid, it's not surprising that he expects to be a market leader within five years even with no set-forward front axle due for two years. It's a fact that Cat has 40 years of experience in on-road trucking by virtue of the engine business it abandoned in 2008, and relatively easy to verify that there remain more than 1.5 million Cat engines still running American highways.
Even though Cat didn't delight every one of those customers (who could?), there were seven J.D. Power & Assoc. awards for customer satisfaction with Caterpillar on-road engines.
More difficult to substantiate, but relatively easy to imagine, is Taylor's claim that Cat and its 58 dealers here have relationships with the buyers of 70% of the vocational trucks sold in North America. If the company has managed to translate a reasonable percentage of its customers' requests concerning vocational trucks into CT660 features, the industrious embrace of the Cat dealer network is likely to displace a significant number of competitors' trucks on job sites. Taylor says North American Cat dealers staff more than 400 locations and 2,300 truck-specific service bays with about 2,500 service technicians. The network operates more than 100 chassis dynamometers.
A competitive truck, competitively priced with other premium vocational trucks, is going to turn the heads of a lot of truck buyers. Especially those who are already accustomed to doing business with Cat dealers (the only dealers who will sell Cat trucks in North America) and have already bought into Cat's lowest-life-cost value proposition.