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Caterpillar to close hydraulics plant in South Carolina

Aug 31, 2023Aug 31, 2023

Caterpillar plans to close its hydraulic cylinder plant in Sumter, South Carolina.

"In order to better position ourselves for future competitiveness, we plan to consolidate operations at our Sumter hydraulics facility into other existing facilities by the end of the first quarter 2024," says Brant Watson, Caterpillar senior communications representative. "This impacts approximately 150 positions."

Caterpillar announced an expansion of the plant in 2012, spending $20 million due to increased product demand. The plant's size was expanded from 100,000 to 275,000 square feet. At the time, it produced small hydraulic cylinders for a variety of Cat products. The expansion added large hydraulic cylinders to its operations, supplying North and South America, and moved that production from Joliet, Illinois, to Sumter.

The workers at the Sumter plant will be transferred to other plants or will be offered severance packages, according to media reports.

Caterpillar did not provide further information about the closing.

The closure follows two other recent moves by the company. Last year, it announced it would move its global corporate headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois, to Irving, Texas, to "attract new talent and provide additional career opportunities for our current employees to aid retention," the company said at the time. The company also moved its Electric Power division, which produces generators, to Irving to consolidate leadership and support teams.

Caterpillar is coming off one of its best years in its history in 2022. For the first quarter of 2023, the company reported sales and revenues of $15.9 billion, a 17% increase compared to the same period last year, due to favorable price and volume growth.