Caterpillar to Stay in Illinois
In a press conference following a meeting between Cat CEO Doug Oberhelman and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Oberhelman seemed to indicate that the large equipment manufacturer will be staying in Illinois, at least for the time being. There was a virtual uproar after it was revealed that Oberhelman sent letter to Quinn expressing disappointment with the corporate income tax increase passed several months ago that nearly doubled business taxes. After an hour-long meeting today, both Oberhelman and Quinn seemed to come out strong with positive attitudes – Quinn about creating more jobs and fostering a better business environment and image in Illinois and Oberhelman about the company’s plans to remain in Illinois. You may wonder what this has to do with Fox Valley real estate. Well, Caterpillar is a Fortune 500 company with headquarters in Peoria, Illinois and a large manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois. Caterpillar is one of the Fox Valley’s largest employers and a few thousand of Cat employees call the region home. There’s been a lot of news surrounding the Aurora factory lately as earlier this year, Caterpillar moved the manufacturing of medium and large wheel loaders to a factory in Texas. The Aurora plant was going to be outfitted to produce mining shovels but this has apparently stalled while Caterpillar finishes the acquisition of Bucyrus International, INC. in South Milwaukee. Bucyrus currently manufactures mining shovels and some speculate that Caterpillar may keep the production in Milwaukee while future plans for the Aurora factory remain uncertain. Whatever the eventual outcome, it looks like for now, Cat will remain an Illinois corporation and that’s good news for the state.