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CATERPILLAR ANNOUNCES JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN ITS SUBSIDIARY AND MITSUBISHI

 CATERPILLAR ANNOUNCES JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN
 ITS SUBSIDIARY AND MITSUBISHI
 PEORIA, Ill., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Caterpillar Industrial Inc., of Mentor, Ohio, agreed March 21 to form a joint venture for lift trucks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. of Tokyo, effective July 1.
 An agreement was signed by Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Donald V. Fites and MHI President K. Aikawa in a ceremony in San Diego.
 While already approved by both companies' boards, the venture is subject to approval of U.S., Japanese, and European Community authorities. MHI will hold 80 percent of the equity of the new joint venture company. Caterpillar will own 20 percent.
 The new venture will design, manufacture and distribute lift trucks, other material handling equipment, and related parts. The value of assets transferred to the venture by Caterpillar and MHI will be determined on or about July 1.
 The following is a related item issued by Caterpillar Industrial: GLOBAL LIFT TRUCK VENTURE TO EMERGE FROM MITSUBISHI-CATERPILLAR ACCORD
 MENTOR, Ohio, March 23 -- With the March 21, 1992, signing of an agreement, a new lift truck joint venture company will be formed. By combining the significant strengths of Caterpillar Industrial Inc. (CII) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), this new organization, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift (MCF), will bring lift truck users a mix of products and services that are "second to none," according to Richard A. Benson, president of CII.
 Last Dec. 18, MHI and CII jointly announced they had reached preliminary agreement to explore formation of a lift truck joint venture company. This new venture is anticipated to become operative July 1.
 MCF will focus investment on the design, manufacture, sale, and support of material handling vehicles and related componentry.
 Vertical integration will be another facet of MCF's philosophy. As part of the company' strategy of continuous improvement, MCF has plans for in-house development and production of components including hydraulics and power trains.
 Another factor which will contribute to the venture's success is its plan for strong regional autonomy. The company will have local manufacturing and marketing centers for the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Dedicated lift truck plants in Houston and Almere, the Netherlands, will be part of the new company. Asian markets will be served from Japan. North American administrative offices will remain in Mentor and Houston. The regionalized approach will allow the different marketing organizations to be quickly responsive to local requirements while maintaining global economies of scale.
 Economists have suggested that being "global" means more than just competing around the world. Global means bringing to customers products and services that meet their expectations with a combination of quality and value. To do that, companies need to have a technological lead to be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. And this must be done at a low cost. And for that, volume is required.
 But volume alone won't do it, because economies of scale must be combined with a high level of product integrity. Excellence must be the norm.
 MCF plans are to design-in quality. The goal is to cultivate growth and continuous improvement by reinvesting in itself to upgrade plants and satisfy a growing customer base.
 MCF will continue to market its products under both the Caterpillar and Mitsubishi brand names and through two dealer organizations. "Being able to get close to customers is what makes the difference in a supplier's ability to deliver the right mix of products and services,"
Benson said. "Both Cat and Mitsubishi dealers have developed a rapport with their customers, and MCF is committed to ensure that customers of both organizations remain satisfied with their products and services."
 With a combined worldwide marketing, distribution, and manufacturing presence, the marriage of these two already well-established companies is likely to have a major impact in the material handling industry.
 -0- 3/23/92 R
 /CONTACT: Dick Stober of Caterpillar, 309-675-5548, or Pam Schwaller of Caterpillar Industrial, 216-357-4478/
 (CAT) CO: Caterpillar Inc.; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. ST: Ohio IN: AUT SU: JVN


CK -- NY036R -- 1020 03/24/92 11:40 EST
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Date:Mar 24, 1992
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