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Caterpillar still intent on entering UK hire

CATERPILLAR remains determined to set up a compact equipment hire operation in the UK as part of a move to cash in on the £20 billion world rental market.

Caterpillar Overseas chairman Vito Baumgartner did not say when, but confirmed the UK would be included in the strategy.

'We see 40 per cent of smaller equipment going through rental, that is what our customers want. We intend to be with all our customers, ' he said.

Cat used the show to unveil its first Rental Store operation in Europe, operating through its French dealer.

Mr Baumgartner reiterated that the company intended to grow by a further 50 per cent by the end of the decade through a combined strategy of product range expansion and geographical expansion, increased involvement in rental operations and further use of the Internet.

Overseas managing director Ben Darrow said that such growth was likely to involve '. . . some affiliations and commercial arrangements'.