Cummins celebrates annual meeting with a hint of future expansion

As Cummins Inc.’s top executive celebrated the company’s first 100 years and talked about its future during the annual shareholders meeting, he hinted at another big step regarding the announcement of the headquarters of the new Electrified Power Segment.

“I’m glad to announce where we’re going to headquarter and where we’re going to manufacture all the (electric) products. We have an announcement Thursday with the governor of Indiana, and (Columbus) Mayor (Jim) Lienhoop is going to be there. We are excited about that,” Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said today to about 150 people at Columbus Engine Plant.

The announcement will be about a few investments Columbus-based Cummins, a Fortune 160 power generation and diesel engine company, is making in electrification, information technology and digital analytics, Linebarger said after the meeting.

“It’s going to be good. We’re going to talk about why we’re doing what we’re doing,” he said.

The announcements will be made at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gov. Eric Holcomb will be joined by Lienhoop and the mayors of Indianapolis and Greenwood for the announcement, Cummins spokesman Jon Mills said.

Cummins launched the Electrified Power Segment at the start of 2018. The segment is in a rampup process, but will be ready to launch its first commercial product in the fourth quarter of this year, an electrified powertrain in GILLIG zero-emissions transit buses.

Electrification represents a terrific opportunity for the company, which was founded in 1919 and capitalized on the relatively new diesel engine technology, Linebarger said.

“Our view is that innovation and technical leadership will be critical in the future, just like in the past. Diesel engines have been a leader in our industry for a hundred years, but if we go out a hundred years, they will not be the product of choice in all of our markets,” Linebarger said.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Tribune