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Cummins unveils new engine for Chinese market

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An expanded partnership between Cummins Inc. and Beiqi Foton Motor Co. was announced in spectacular style Tuesday.

A bright red tractor carrying officials from both companies rumbled into a smoke-filled room of the Cummins Technical Center. Guests scrambled from their seats, snapping pictures and angling for a first look at the new vehicle dubbed a “super power” truck.

The new Cummins ISG engine model, which will be manufactured in Beijing, will power the Foton Aumon GTL trucks.

Steve Chapman, Cummins group vice president for China and Russia, said the new engine demonstrates the vigor and strength that a win-win partnership can bring to both companies.

“We expect that the successful application of Cummins’ ISG engine in Foton trucks will make a unique contribution, as Foton is poised to expand its business even faster in the years ahead,” Chapman said.

The announcement involved Cummins and Foton partners from every phase of the joint project.

Presentations in English and Chinese were interpreted through headsets for the diverse audience of more than 100, which included representatives from Foton dealerships in China.

The ISG heavy duty engine platform was announced by Cummins in September. The inline, six-cylinder engine is available in 11-liter and 12-liter models to meet a broad variety of global market requirements and emissions standards.

About the partnership

Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Co. Ltd. was established in March 2008 as a 50-50 joint investment to produce light-duty diesel engines in China. It has 1,300 employees.

Foton Cummins invested $146 million to produce engines for light commercial trucks, vans and small construction equipment to supply the Chinese market.

The engine, called ISF, comes in 2.8- and 3.8-liter versions with 109 to 170 horsepower.

The joint venture has an annual production capacity of 400,000 units, making Foton China’s largest engine manufacturer.

About the partner

Company: Beiqi Foton Motor Co.

Founded: Aug. 28, 1996

Headquarters: Beijing’s Changping district

Products: Trucks, buses, sport utility vehicles and agricultural equipment

Assets: $500 million

Employment: 40,000 staff worldwide


  • Foton is the top-selling commercial vehicle manufacturer in China.
  • Facilities in China, Japan and Germany

The engines will be manufactured at Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Co., a 50-50 joint venture between the companies in China. The plant has a capacity to produce 400,000 engines per year.

Design and development of the engine has been led by a team in the United States with support from global technical and marketing resources with knowledge of local market and customer needs.

Dave Crompton, vice president and general manager of Cummins’ engine business, said the ISG engine is an example of the company’s increased emphasis on its fit-for-market strategy.

Cummins serves customers in 190 countries, and Crompton said the fit-for-market concept is designed to meet customer requirements by using the company’s knowledge, tools and technologies to deliver low-cost products that adapt to each market.

“While we are focusing mostly on the fact that this is a revolutionary new product for Cummins and Foton, this is also a revolutionary new approach to global leadership,” Crompton said. “We are placing increased emphasis on designing fit-for-market products. Leveraging regional capabilities to design for low cost … and to work more collaboratively with our global partners to deliver world-class technologies around the world.”

The collaboration between Cummins and Foton on the ISG engine began in 2010 and melded customer input, patented technologies and advanced production techniques to produce a product geared for the target market.

Rich Freeland, Cummins vice president and president of its engine business, said the ISG engine is designed to increase fuel economy and comply with the tougher emissions standards being used in China for environmental and sustainability benefits. The ISG series is tailored to meet global variations in emissions requirements, including Euro IV/China NS IV and Euro V emissions requirements.

“The cooperation on ISG once again demonstrates our shared commitment to the environment,” Freeland said. “That commitment has resulted in us creating a product line that will not only please our customers but will further cement our commitment that everything we do leads to a cleaner environment.”

Wang Jinyu, general manager for Foton, said the ability for his company to utilize the experience that partners Cummins and German-based Daimler bring to the table is a huge advantage.

“We aim at setting a new benchmark in the high-end heavy-duty truck market through breakthrough technologies,” Wang said. "Through joint-venture cooperation with Cummins and Daimler, respectively, and by leveraging the complementary strengths … we are able to provide customers the values and benefits they care about most.”

Craig Kessler, president of Columbus-based Kessler Investment group, which holds shares in Cummins, said the announcement is another example of Cummins’ strategic move into China and other rapidly growing markets around the world.

“Foreign markets are critical to Cummins remaining strong domestically,” Kessler said. “Growth overseas will remain strong for years to come. It is this growth which has led to a manufacturing renaissance here in the United States.”

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