Caterpillar’s dealer sales still sliding

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Caterpillar Inc.’s dealer sales continue to decrease but not as fast as they were.

The Peoria heavy-equipment maker says dealer sales dropped 10 percent in the three months ended June 30 compared with a year earlier. Sales decreased 12 percent in the three months through May, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Sales of mining equipment dropped 38 percent in three months through June, an improvement from the 48 percent drop in the three months ended May 31. The company’s sales of energy equipment and parts for trains were off 10 percent in the recent three-month period after posting just a 3 percent drop through May 31.

Construction equipment sales increased 3 percent in the recent period, but that was down slightly from the 4 percent increase through May.

Earlier this year, Caterpillar required its underperforming dealers to submit improvement plans this year and show results within three years. Caterpillar sees the potential to increase dealer sales and service revenue by between $9 billion to $18 billion by 2018, Reuters reported.

Caterpillar says the push isn’t meant to put any of178 independent distributors out of the business but it could happen. The dealer network employs about 162,000 people.

h/t Bloomberg

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