After a disappointing performance in India last year, the world’s biggest construction equipment maker, Caterpillar said it is “determined to do better” in the country.

In an interview to the Financial Times, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens said, he is “disappointed” with Caterpillar’s weak showing in India, but is happy with the company’s progress in China.

In India, Caterpillar languishes in fourth position in sales of diggers, loaders and other construction machines.

Mr. Owens said, “I am determined to do better (in India).”

Though, he declined to give detailed figures on the company’s sales in India, saying that last year they came to a “few hundred million dollars.”

Last year, the company’s sales in construction machines accounted for only seven per cent of the 34,500 units, the report said citing UK consultancy Off-Highway Research.

Mr. Owens told FT that Asia was critical for company’s growth as sales in other parts of the world have been pushed down by the economic downturn.

He also added that a true test of how well Caterpillar emerges from the recession will be its performance in the next few years in Asia.” In 2008, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 17.5 per cent of Caterpillar’s sales of $51.3 billion.

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