Cummins Inc. struck a deal to acquire Jacobs Vehicle Systems from Altra Industrial Motion Corp. for $325 million. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, following the usual closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
At that time, the Jake Brake will belong to the company founded by its inventor, Clessie Cummins. The diesel engine innovator started Cummins Engine Co. in 1919 and tinkered with using an engine to slow down a vehicle since a near-miss with a train coming down a California mountainside in 1931. It was the first coast-to-coast trip on a diesel-powered vehicle.
“In the ’50s, when he finally retired from Cummins, [Clessie] spent some time working on that and trying to figure out how to turn the engine into some sort of compressive brake,” explained Steve Ernest, vice president, engineering and business development for JVS, which was created in 1961 to commercialize the compression release engine brake. Nine million Jake Brakes have been sold since then.
JVS, which generated $193 million in revenue last year, has done a lot since then, such as developing Cylinder Deactivation Technology (CDA), which reduces fuel consumption by as much as 5%. CDA has NOx emissions reduction benefits as well.
The move also helps Cummins, which has divisions working on compressed natural gas and fuel cell technology, move toward its zero-emissions goals. Cummins stated “engine braking and cylinder deactivation technologies will be key components to meeting current and future emissions regulations, and this acquisition would allow Cummins to better integrate valuable components with its emissions-leading medium- and heavy-duty engines.”
JVS, which has 600 employees, also provides start and stop, and thermal management technologies.
In the release, Cummins noted, “the acquisition of JVS also secures critical USMCA qualified engine components for current and aftermarket products and expands on Cummins Turbo Technologies’ success with customers globally.”
“JVS brings engineering expertise, best in class products, and key manufacturing capabilities to Cummins that will allow us to continue developing component technologies that deliver market-leading performance and emissions,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins’ president and chief operating officer. “We expect that this transaction will provide both attractive financial returns and future growth opportunities for our company.”
Those JVS operational employees who remain following the acquisition will report to the Cummins Turbo Technologies business unit, which is led by Shon Wright, vice president of Cummins Turbo Technologies.
“We’re excited about the prospect of welcoming employees from JVS into the Cummins organization and look forward to adding their deep engineering talent to complement our expertise as we work together to develop innovative and cost-effective products now, and in the future,” Wright said.
Altra chairman and CEO Carl Christenson noted Cummins was more strategically aligned to provide JVS with “an opportunity to thrive.”
“We believe this acquisition is a terrific move to continue the rich tradition of JVS innovation,” said Carl Christenson, chairman and CEO of Altra. “The sale of JVS to Cummins will provide new opportunities to innovate and evolve industries that both companies have been part of for more than 60 years."
This article originally appeared on Fleet Maintenance.