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CaterpillarAthens newsest manufacturing facility, Caterpillar opened in October 2013.The Athens facility will become Caterpillar's global source for small track-type tractors and will also provide mini hydraulic excavators for customers in North and South America and Europe. The first fully-assembled mini hydraulic excavators are rolling off the line this month, with plans to add additional models throughout 2014 and small track-type tractors in early 2015. The facility is part of Caterpillar's Building Construction Products Division, which is based in Cary, N.C.

More than 300 employees have been hired at the facility so far. That number is anticipated to reach 1,400 as production continues to ramp up.

Work at the new facility includes major fabrications, paint and final assembly for both products. These machines are currently made at Caterpillar's Sagami, Japan, facility. Once the transition to the new facility in Athens is completed, the Sagami facility will continue to support Caterpillar's global growth strategy as a high-tech component facility.