Caterpillar Enters Home and Outdoor Power Market
In a move that could eventually have broader implications, Caterpillar is entering the home and outdoor power market with the introduction of a line of portable generators — the Cat RP Series.
The new generators are designed to provide backup or recreational power to residential users and portable power to professional contractors who need to power tools and lights on the job. The initial models of portable generators in the Cat RP Series range in size and power from 3.6 kW to 7.5 kW in North America and 2.5 kW to 4.4 kW in Europe.
This product is available to purchase through a new multi-channel distribution approach — including Cat dealers, local retailers, and eventually national retailers and wholesalers — which will serve as Cat Home & Outdoor Power Authorized Sales and Service Centers.
The new products will be introduced to distribution networks in the U.S. and Canada over the remainder of 2016 with a move into European networks late in the year.
An expanded home and outdoor power portfolio is under development with more product launches anticipated in 2017.
The sets were designed by a team of Caterpillar engineers and industrial designers based in Mossville, Ill., and Belfast, Northern Ireland. The sets will be contract manufactured by Rato Power Manufacturing Co. in China. “We did a lot of research and visited a number of companies in China,” McAllister said. “Rato wasn’t necessarily the lowest cost manufacturer, but it’s the one we felt best mirrored our design and quality assurance philosophies, as well as quality production standards that matched Caterpillar standards.
“It’s not just a supplier agreement — they are a manufacturing and design partner.”