The (Columbus) Republic
What began as a startup company to capitalize on a young technology, the diesel engine, has blossomed over 100 years into a global Fortune 200 company with headquarters in Columbus.
That would be Cummins Inc., formerly known as Cummins Engine Co.
The independent engine maker has grown over the decades, in part because of necessity, to become a company that produces more than just diesel-powered engines. Its current lineup of products also includes, for example, generator sets, high-horsepower engines for rail and marine, turbochargers and fuel systems. The company has even expanded into electrified power technology, and is developing electric and hybrid powertrain systems.
Not only has its lineup of products grown, but its operations have expanded across the globe. Cummins’ footprint reaches 190 countries, and it notably has facilities in China, India and Brazil.
The company employs about 60,000 worldwide and about 8,000 in southern Indiana including nearly a 1,000 at the Seymour Engine Plant and Seymour Tech Center on East Fourth Street Road.
The company’s history in Seymour dates back nearly 61 years ago when filter bags for use as oil filters on diesel engines were made in a plant formerly occupied by Seymour Woolen Mills on Poplar Street between Laurel and Oak streets.
On. Feb. 6 — the day the company celebrated its 100th anniversary — Cummins announced 2018 year-end sales of nearly $23.8 billion and profits of $2.1 billion — both company records.
That’s a lot of progress from the company’s humble start in 1919, when it was founded by Clessie Cummins and supported by banker William G. Irwin.
Along the way, Columbus, Seymour and many other communities have benefited from the jobs the company has created, the wages it has paid and its commitment to philanthropy in the communities where it operates.
In Columbus, for example, Cummins hosts annual recycling events, launched the annual Mill Race Marathon and has supported education efforts throughout the region.
Cummins also provides all employees the opportunity to volunteer in their communities on company time and many do so during the Jackson County United Way Day of Caring in each spring and at other events.
Seymour and Columbus are fortunate to have a successful, civic-minded, global company headquartered in its backyard. We hope the successful relationship between the company and community endures, and that Cummins enjoys another century of success.
This editorial initially appeared on Sunday in The Columbus Republic. Send comments to [email protected]