By Edward Matloub, Thomas McIntyre, Peter Rohlfer, Caelie Fryers, Bert Valencia Jr. and Aditya Koyyalamud
Caterpillar has survived the recession and enhanced its global presence, but at what cost? Caterpillar is a quintessential American company with a highly differentiated brand that is recognized for quality and dependability. Founded in 1925, as a result of the merger of the Holt Company and C.L. Best Tractor Trailers, the company has left an indelible mark on American society. The Holt Company gained notoriety during the First World War with the production of heavy-duty tractor-trailers. The company also produced other machinery during World War II to build bridges, airstrips and an entire logistical network used to support the Allies. This cemented the company’s position as an all-American brand capable of attaining the highest quality. This image has remained with the company for three generations, and in 2008 Global Brands ranked Caterpillar number sixty-eight out of the top one hundred global brands. Despite this rich legacy, the firm operates in a highly competitive industry and is at a crossroads which will determine the future of the company and potentially re-define its image throughout the world.