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CATERPILLAR $47.5 MILLION ORDER FROM MEXICO DEMONSTRATES NAFTA ADVANTAGE FOR U.S. MANUFACTURERS

 PEORIA, Ill., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) today confirmed the sale of 172 primarily Illinois-manufactured machines to Mexico that will be used in a highway construction project southeast of Mexico City. The sale, for $47.5 million in construction equipment, is the company's largest single sale to Mexico this year.
 The order from Tribasa, a leading Mexican construction company, is comprised of four models of track-type tractors to be manufactured in East Peoria; four models of wheel loaders, three types of excavators and one type of compactor to be made in Aurora; and three models of motor graders and one type of scraper from the Decatur facility. All but 34 pieces of equipment will be manufactured in the company's Illinois facilities. Caterpillar Americas Co. dealer, MEXTRAC, closed the deal.
 Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. will finance the order, with support from the U.S. Export-Import Bank . The machines will begin shipping immediately.
 "Ex-Im Bank's timely approval of this transaction was crucial to making this deal happen," said Tim Elder, manager of governmental affairs for Caterpillar. Ex-Im Bank programs provide loans, guarantees and insurance which are instrumental in providing support for U.S. exports.
 The sale underscores the opportunities that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) offers to U.S. companies, like Caterpillar, whose exports create thousands of jobs in the U.S.A., according to Elder.
 "As Mexico has opened its markets and reduced tariffs, sales of Caterpillar products have skyrocketed," Elder said. In 1983, the company sold only 11 units to Mexico. By 1992, that number had jumped to 1,200.
 Caterpillar exported about $200 million worth of equipment to Mexico in 1992, generating work for 1,300 Caterpillar employees and 2,700 people working for the company's U.S. suppliers.
 "While Mexico has already reduced tariffs to about 10-20 percent for Cat-type products, NAFTA would reduce all tariffs to zero over a five- to ten-year period," Elder said. "That gives us a competitive advantage over non-U.S. manufacturers and it means jobs for Caterpillar people and our suppliers."
 According to Elder, another competitive edge was the long-standing relationship between Caterpillar, MEXTRAC, an independent Caterpillar dealer in Mexico, and Tribasa. "Caterpillar's commitment to customer service is legendary, and we've consistently demonstrated this commitment to Tribasa over the years, and as a result, we've been able to earn their business again."
 Since Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari began reducing import duties in 1988, Tribasa, Caterpillar's largest customer in Latin America, has purchased almost 500 Caterpillar machines, including today's deal.
 Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment and a major manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines. Based in Peoria, Caterpillar is one of only a handful of U.S. companies that leads its industry while competing globally from a domestic manufacturing base.
 While 75 percent of Caterpillar's assets are in the United States, half of its sales are to customers outside the United States.
 -0- 10/27/93
 /CONTACT: Marsha Hausser of Caterpillar, 309-675-4807, Jeff Davis, 314-982-8612, or Shawn Ramsey, 314-982-9187, both for Catepillar/
 (CAT)


CO: Caterpillar Inc. ST: Illinois IN: MAC SU: CON

TS -- NY086 -- 7363 10/27/93 13:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 27, 1993
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