Caterpillar eyeing Montgomery for new plant

Posted by: Mark Bullock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A large American manufacturer is looking to set up shop in Montgomery. Caterpillar announced Friday it had narrowed its choice of cities to three. And Alabama's capital city is on the short list.

The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has been talking to Caterpillar and sending information about the area for months now. But city officials were still surprised the announcement came so soon.

The company revealed that Montgomery is now competing with only two other cities -- Spartanburg, South Carolina and Winston-Salem, North Carolina -- to become the site of the next Caterpillar plant. Whichever city gets it will also get more than 500 new jobs.

Caterpillar is reportedly looking at sites near the existing Hyundai plant on the city's south side. A final decision is expected by the end of the summer.

"We are anticipating them being here over the next couple weeks," said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. "And we look forward to talking to them and sharing with them our vision and selling them on Montgomery, Alabama."

The city and the chamber have done a good job "selling" Montgomery lately. On Thursday, Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. announced it would move its corporate headquarters from Birmingham to the newest RSA building going up in downtown Montgomery.

And the mayor says another similar announcement is expected in the coming days.

Caterpillar bills itself as the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment and diesel & natural gas-powered engines.

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