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After a press conference, Cummins Inc. employee Juan Ramirez adds his signature to a display poster picturing the five-liter V8 Diesel engine Cummins produce for Nissan's Titan pickup truck by the end of 2014.(Joe Harpring | The Republic)
About 100 development team members and local and state government officials were on hand at Cumins Inc. Columbus Engine Plant for the announcement Tuesday August 20, 2013, that the company will produce a 5-liter V8 Diesel engine for Nissan by the end of 2014.(Joe Harpring | The Republic)
Cummins Inc. revived its light-duty diesel engine project at Columbus Engine Plant Tuesday before local, state and federal officials — but in many ways it made the announcement among family.
Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown said that her great-grandfather, grandfather and father all worked at the Columbus Engine Plant, also known as Plant 1.
“My father is bursting with pride that I get to participate in this event,” she said.
The announcement, Brown said, is a resounding reaffirmation of Cummins’ strong commitment to Columbus.
The company has about 7,500 employees in southern Indiana, and most of them work in Columbus. It is by far the region’s largest employer.
Cummins can launch engines anywhere in the world, Brown said, and she is thankful the company continues to bank on Columbus.
State Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, said he admired the company’s employees for continually generating innovations to keep the diesel engine technology viable.
Walker, whose father retired from Plant 1, also jokingly thanked Cummins for financing his college education.
State Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, said that when he worked at the company’s Columbus Tech Center about 40 years ago, the company already was pushing fuel economy and lowering emissions. Though that puzzled him at the time, because fuel was inexpensive and nobody worried about climate change, it exemplifies the company’s foresight, he said. He thanked Cummins and the employees for their dedication to Columbus, the state, nation and the global challenge of battling climate change.
U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., congratulated and thanked Cummins and the employees and said that the company remains a “linchpin to Indiana’s economic success.”
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson called Cummins the “economic driver for Columbus and the entire state” and said the engine maker, with its global presence, remains one of the best ambassadors for everything that makes Indiana great.
Jeff Caldwell, the company’s general manager of the pickup business, said after the meeting that he also has a personal connection to the plant: He started his Cummins career there. He said that Plant 1 is a “special place” and he was grateful to be able to participate in its rebirth.
Caldwell said the light-duty project serves as another good example for Cummins’ investment in the future. And, he said, it reaffirms that Cummins does what it says it will do.
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