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Caterpillar plans rental assault tailored to individual countries

Caterpillar has said that it will now focus on its rental division in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The concept of The Cat Rental Store combines the strengths of a worldwide dealer network and a wide range of equipment. It also offers equipment from
The concept of The Cat Rental Store combines the strengths of a worldwide dealer network and a wide range of equipment. It also offers equipment from

Caterpillar has said that it will now focus on its rental division in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The company claims that it is aiming to be the preferred supplier of rental services by providing customers with flexible, tailored rental solutions in each region that it is present.

With depots in most countries, the emphasis is in creating a superior customer experience within the current network structure.

"We aim at ensuring that the local product offering in every country meets the needs of both small and large customers in terms of short or long-term rentals, equipment delivery and pick-up preferences," said Andy Zuckerman, rental division manager EMEA, Caterpillar.

Instead of providing a standard set of equipment and machines to all depots, Caterpillar uses in-country market research to better understand local habits and practices.

"This [has] allowed us to tailor our offer country by country, sometimes region by region, and even store by store," said Zuckerman.

"For example, backhoe loaders are absent in the German depots but represent a significant share of the fleet in the UK and Spain; the Swiss depots have proportionally more heaters than other countries; and a store close to a specific industrial zone, like a harbour, has more application-specific equipment, such as forklift trucks."

"We also constantly train the depot staff at the stores in order to ensure customers interact with experienced professionals in all locations. It is not only the broad product line and the local market knowledge but also the product support expertise and the dedicated service that make The Cat Rental Store unique. And at the end of the day, our rental goal remains the same as when selling machines: continue to serve our customers and help them be successful," he said.

"The rental equipment marketplace has seen explosive growth over the last few years. In Europe alone the industry as a whole is estimated at more than US $21 billion (EUR15.7 billion). We've recognised the importance and potential of the growing rental market and have a constant focus on it. Rental offers flexible solutions in terms of machine configuration, machine availability and proximity, thanks to the number of locations."

In 1996, Caterpillar launched The Cat Rental Store to meet the growing need for rental equipment. It is a joint initiative with its dealers, to provide a 'one-stop shop' for local customers seeking rental services and advice. Today, The Cat Rental Store, owned by individual dealers, has grown to be an integral part of Caterpillar's operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

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