Caterpillar plans to build a manufacturing plant in Northeast Georgia — equally close to the ports of Savannah and Charleston — to make small tractors and mini hydraulic excavators.
The company plans to export partially assembled miniexcavator base units to a plant in Europe, where final assembly will take place, improving delivery times for European customers. The products will also be built for markets in North and South America.
Under the deal announced Friday by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman, the company will invest $200 million in a 1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility. The site consists of 250 acres in Athens, Ga., which span Clarke and Oconee counties.
“The Athens site was selected from among dozens of locations considered due to its proximity to major ports, a strong regional base of potential suppliers, a positive and pro-active business climate and a good pool of potential employees with manufacturing experience,” said BCP vice president Mary Bell.
The facility site is close to two major Interstate roads and 222 miles from Savannah and 213 miles from Charleston, S.C. Caterpillar’s existing plants in Georgia use the Georgia ports of Savannah and Brunswick.