Cummins makes deal to produce light-duty diesel engines

Cummins Inc. announced it has reached agreement with a major automotive manufacturer serving the North American market to produce and market a light-duty, diesel-powered engine. For competitive reasons, Cummins original equipment manufacturer partner in the venture has asked to remain confidential.

As part of the agreement, Cummins will develop and manufacture a family of high-performance, light-duty diesel engines for a variety of automotive applications in vehicles below 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight, including standard pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. Certain bus, marine and industrial applications also will be served by this engine family.

The first vehicles with this engine are expected to be ready for market by the end of the decade. Cummins anticipates that this diesel engine will provide an average of 30 percent fuel savings, depending on the drive cycle, over gasoline-powered engines for comparable vehicles.

The concept for this product is the result of a nine-year partnership between Cummins and the U. S. Department of Energy. The DOE contract began in 1997 because of the federal agency's ongoing interest in energy efficiency in the automotive market.

"This agreement gives the driving public an even greater opportunity to experience the benefits of a new class of vehicles powered by a high-performance, fuel-efficient, clean diesel engine made by Cummins," said Tim Solso, Cummins Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This line of diesel engines also will fuel the growth of an exciting new market in which Cummins does not currently participate.

Cummins has not yet selected a manufacturing site for the new engine, but after an extensive search has narrowed the candidates to a short list of states.

"Cummins is looking for a community that has a cost-competitive, suitable facility and the right resources available," said Jim Kelly, President of the Engine Business. "We also will seek state and local economic incentives from the states that are candidates for this business."

Cummins expects to have added 600 new jobs approximately two years after product launch. Further growth will depend on volumes.

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