Caterpillar (CAT.NYSE) plans to shift some of its sourcing of complex parts from Japan to China, reflecting a shift in China’s maturing manufacturing sector, the Financial Times reported. The construction equipment manufacturer currently imports about 40% of components for its Chinese excavator-making factories from Japan, but plans to reduce that by at least a quarter within five years. Caterpillar has been running pilot programs with its Chinese suppliers to determine their ability to manufacture complex parts. Caterpillar entered China in the 1970s; the country is now home to 11 of its 175 worldwide manufacturing facilities with a workforce of 7,400. The company has also been expanding its manufacturing operations in China, with new factories opening in Wujiang in 2012 and Tianjin in 2013.
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