Opening in 1965 the Caterpillar plant in Gosselies, Belgium was a huge manufacturing plant. Excavators and parts were assembled until closure in 2016.
Production of hydraulic excavators and medium-wheel loaders began at Caterpillar’s Gosselies plant in 1965. At 100 hectares, this was the biggest industrial site in Wallonia, Belgium’s southern region and was home to the headquarters of Caterpillar Belgium. By 1967, Caterpillar workers produced 40 machines a month, from diesel engines to industrial equipment. In 1972, a new assembly hall covering eight hectares was added. In 2000, the plant started to make its first electric motors for industrial equipment. Some 97 percent of the output of the plant was exported to the world market, until 2013 when management limited it to the European Union. In later years the facility concentrated on the manufacture only of components rather than full-scale assembly. The factory closed in 2016 with the loss of 2,000 jobs, and manufacturing was shifted to existing plants in other countries.