Local analysts, officials react to Cummins rebrand

Local analysts and officials agreed that Cummins’ decision to rebrand its New Power business further reinforces the company’s commitment to zero emissions technologies.

On Wednesday, Cummins announced that it is rebranding the business segment as Accelera by Cummins. The part of the business that is being renamed includes the company’s growing electrified power and hydrogen portfolios and represents much of its efforts to invest in technologies that seek to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Roger Lee, a senior research analyst with Columbus-based Kirr, Marbach and Co., said that rebranding the business segment sends a message to investors that zero emissions products are not just a “pet project.”

“They don’t want people to think of their clean energy products as a pet project or a side dish to their legacy business,” Lee said. “I think that branding it is really their way of planting a flag and telling people that this is something they’re very serious about.”

“They’re trying to make the name broadcast that they’re accelerating that shift and they’re really embracing it,” Lee added. “…While it might not seem that dramatic now, it could be a brand that becomes a household name 20 years from now.”

Craig Kessler, president and chief investment officer at Columbus-based Kessler Investment Group, said the announcement from Cummins “just reinforces the vision” that the company already had.

“I think it just reinforces the vision that Cummins has to move in the direction of zero emissions, and this is the way in which they’re going to do it,” Kessler said. “They’re outlining the public-facing entity. That’s what they were revealing to us today, and as such, it just underscores what I think was already in place.”

“Cummins has for quite awhile now been … reminding their stakeholders, the community and investors in general that they are a company that delivers propulsion,” Kessler added. “Whether that’s through a diesel engine, whether that’s through electricity, whether that’s through hydrogen, they are going to be a leader in the field of propulsion. This, I think, just codifies from a marketing standpoint that initiative that has been place for quite a while.”

Local officials characterized the announcement as good news.

Jason Hester, president of the Greater Columbus (Indiana) Economic Development Corp., said the announcement was “good news for Cummins and for the community as a whole.”

“It just continues to demonstrate their focus on a decarbonized world and being a leader in that space,” Hester said. “I think all of us as a community should be encouraged to know that a company that has been around for a century is continuing to show that they’re not resting on their heels. They are continuing to invest in a very focused manner on the future.”

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop said he believes the rebranding effort is a “good step for Cummins.”

“Branding really is important,” Lienhoop said. “Sometimes I think we overlook the importance of being able to communicate to your customers, to the public, to your stakeholders who you are and what you do. I think it is a good step for Cummins.”