Columbus, Indiana – Cummins Inc. has temporarily closed an engine manufacturing facility as a result of Chrysler’s decision to idle its manufacturing operations while it undergoes bankruptcy reorganization.
Cummins will shut down its Columbus MidRange Engine Plant (CMEP) in Indiana, which is the sole manufacturing site for the 6.7-litre turbodiesel engine used in the heavy-duty Dodge Ram pickup truck. The plant will close effective May 15 and be down until Chrysler resumes truck production.
Chrysler’s Dodge Ram manufacturing plant in Saltillo, Mexico closed last Monday and its expected to be idle for at least four weeks. Chrysler has indicated that its entire manufacturing operation could remain closed for nine weeks or longer.
Cummins will lay off approximately 610 hourly workers at the engine plant, but plans to move as many as 80 to other operations in southern Indiana.
“The engines we produce for Chrysler make up virtually all the demand at CMEP, and without the Chrysler production, it is not economically feasible to operate the plant,” said Jim Kelly, president of the engine business. “There is considerable uncertainty around Chrysler and when it will resume manufacturing operations, which makes it necessary for us to take this difficult action.”
In actions unrelated to the Chrysler bankruptcy, Cummins also announced that it will permanently lay off approximately 110 hourly workers at three plants in southern Indiana, in response to further weakening demand for engines and components.