Caterpillar, the producer of the ubiquitous yellow building and mining equipment, is moving its headquarters to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas, effectively ending its century-long history in Illinois.
The machinery maker believes the move will help it to attract new talent and improve global access to its employees, customers and dealer network, because of the two major airports in the region, Bloomberg News reported.
The company said it would begin shifting its Deerfield headquarters to Irving, Texas, this year, affecting 230 jobs.
The announcement is a blow to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, who is seeking a second term in November’s election, and a boost to Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
The company is following Boeing in moving its headquarters out of the Chicago area after the airplane maker this year said it would be relocating to Arlington, Virginia.
“It’s disappointing to see Caterpillar move their 240 headquarters employees out of Deerfield over the next several years when so many companies are coming in,” Mr Pritzker said.
“We will continue to support the 17,400 Illinoisans who work for the company.”
The move puts the company’s headquarters staff in an area with lower cost of living than Illinois.
Caterpillar said it has had a presence in Texas since the 1960s, but Illinois remains its largest centre of employees.
“We believe being in the Dallas Fort-Worth market will give us the ability to attract new talent and provide additional career opportunities for our current employees to aid in retention,” spokeswoman Kate Kenny said.
“We have more than 17,000 employees in Illinois", including about 12,000 in the Peoria area, Ms Kenny said.
Five years ago, Caterpillar shifted its headquarters within Illinois from its long-time foothold in Peoria to Deerfield outside of Chicago, a move that at the time upset citizens of the town in which it had built a global empire for more than 100 years.
The 2017 move came as part of the company's attempts to strengthen its push in foreign markets.
Bloomberg News contributed reporting