TONGZHOU, Jiangsu Province, China, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) today announced the joint opening of a state-of-the-art proving ground and a large wheel loader manufacturing facility in Tongzhou, Jiangsu Province. The new operations support the company's growing operations in China and other growth markets. As part of Caterpillar's increasing research and development presence in the Asia Pacific region, the Asia Pacific Proving Ground (APPG) provides validation and product development services for Cat® machinery produced in the region. The large wheel loader manufacturing facility is designed to suit the needs and requirements for quarry and mining applications in China and growth markets. The Cat® 986 large wheel loader, which is produced at the large wheel loader facility, was designed at Caterpillar's Wuxi R&D center and validated by the APPG. "Caterpillar takes a long-term view of the market in China, and our focus on product development here will enable our strategy to win in China," said Steve Wunning, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for Resource Industries. "As we expand our portfolio of locally designed and produced machines in China, Caterpillar is better positioned to serve our customers in China and around the globe." The Cat 986 large wheel loader is the first Cat machine designed, validated and built in China specifically for China and global markets. The machine was displayed at the recently concluded bauma China 2012, the most renowned trade show in the construction industry in China. Featuring the largest exhibit ever for the company, Caterpillar displayed nearly 50 machines and engines at bauma China in Shanghai, including a Tier 3 C7.1 ACERT Industrial Power Unit, which was also developed at the Caterpillar Wuxi R&D center and validated in various machines by the APPG. Strategically located in Tongzhou at the mouth of the Yangtze River to the East Sea, the Tongzhou site provides a logistics advantage in terms of shipping machines from the Asia Pacific region and from inland China to the APPG for testing, and ultimately, the shipping of complete machines to marketplaces in China and around the world. In addition, the Tongzhou site is located near several of Caterpillar's existing manufacturing facilities in China, as well as the majority of the company's existing supply base in China. With these new facilities in operation, Caterpillar now has 23 existing manufacturing facilities, four new facilities under construction, four R&D centers and three logistics and parts centers, employing more than 15,000 people across the country.