The global manufacturer of construction machinery, diesel engines, and many related products has been located in Illinois since the 1920s. Caterpillar announced this week that it plans to consolidate its CEO office and headquarters functions in Irving, Texas. The move follows Caterpillar’s decision in 2017 to move its HQ from its traditional manufacturing hub location, Peoria, to the Chicago suburb of Deerfield. After remaining in Deerfield for only five years, Caterpillar will once again move, this time to a suburb of metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth. The machinery firm posted $51 billion in 2021 sales.
Critics of current Illinois policy saw Caterpillar’s move announcement as a vote of “no confidence” by the highest ranks of U.S. corporate executives in the current standing of our state. Illinois has come under severe nationwide criticism based on rising crime, tax policy, perceived political corruption, and for many other reasons. When measured by firm size, firm capital, annual sales, or other measuring sticks, two of the top five Illinois-based firms in spring 2022 were Deerfield-based Caterpillar and Chicago-based Boeing. Both firms have now announced their intent to leave the Chicago area and move their headquarters out-of-state. Both firms will move to states with policy outlooks very different from Illinois.