PEORIA,IL--With 12,000 employees in Central Illinois Caterpillar's headquarters has been a permanent fixture in downtown Peoria. Now the top level of managers will make company decisions from up North.
Caterpillar will relocate headquarters and 300 of its top level managers to the Chicago area.
"About two thirds of our sales from the last 5 years on average are outside of the U-S. That's where we have to focus on getting there faster and more frequently, more easily so that's a driving factor, " said Caterpillar Spokesperson Rachel Potts.
Caterpillar last saw a peak in sales and revenue in 2012...at 66-billion dollars.
Cat expects to make about $37.5 billion dollars for this year, about 40 percent less. In September of 2015 Caterpillar announced plans for global restructuring that resulted in layoffs world-wide of 10,000 people. The Caterpillar modernization project for downtown Peoria has now been scrapped.
"This downturn has been incredibly painful for Cat, we've lost a lot of friends and colleagues. Our focus is on how we can turn that around and get growing again," Potts said.
Caterpillar's other plants throughout Central Illinois are not expected to be affected. Twenty-five News asked for an interview with Cat's new C.E.O. Jim Umpleby but were told he's not available.
Potts says the company still does not know where it will relocate its headquarters to exactly in the Chicago area, but plans are for leasing a site for a while.