The company has told the New York Stock Exchange that it is monitoring the situation closely and supply chain teams have been executing business continuity plans.
Those plans include being alert to potential short supply situations, and, if necessary, using alternative sources and/or air freight; redirecting orders to other distribution centres, and prioritising the redistribution of the most impactful parts.
“Caterpillar is committed to continuing to execute these plans and will remain in close contact with its supply chain to monitor future possible implications, especially on production facilities,” it said.
The company will keep the majority of its US domestic operations running and plans to continue operations in other parts of the world, as permitted by local authorities.
However, due to weaker demand due to the uncertain economic conditions, potential supply constraints and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions, Caterpillar is temporarily suspending operations at certain facilities.
When asked to clarify, which facilities it was suspending operations at, Caterpillar did not respond.
Caterpillar said it might suspend operations at additional facilities as the situation warrants.
Given the magnitude and rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis Caterpillar has withdrawn its 2020 financial outlook.
It expects its financial results for the first quarter and remainder of 2020 to be impacted by the continued global economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To protect the safety, health and wellbeing of employees, customers, dealers, suppliers and communities, Caterpillar has upped the cleaning and disinfection of its facilities, implemented social distancing practices including remote working when possible, restricted business travel, cancelled some events and limited visitor access to facilities.