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News  March 26, 2014 12:58AM

#MATS2014: Cummins looking to benefit from R&D investments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Revenue has been relatively flat for Cummins over the past couple years, but the company has continued to invest in research and development, which executives say positions the company well in advance of an expected upturn.



LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Revenue has been relatively flat for Cummins over the past couple years, but the company has continued to invest in research and development, which executives say positions the company well in advance of an expected upturn.

Speaking to trucking industry journalists before the Mid-America Trucking Show, Dave Crompton, vice-president of the heavy-duty, mid-range and light-duty engine business for Cummins, said the company has invested more than $2 billion into R&D over the past three years, marking “the greatest spend we’ve ever had. And that’s with fairly flat revenue.”

The company has invested heavily in adding engine-building capacity, “to get ahead of the growth curve that’s coming.”

Among its R&D achievements, Cummins and Peterbilt have fulfilled their role in the Department of Energy-funded SuperTruck project. The companies together developed a truck that achieved 10.7 mpg, representing a 75% improvement in fuel efficiency, a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 86% improvement in overall freight efficiency, which takes into account a 24-hour duty cycle, including time spent off-duty.

Jennifer Rumsey, vice-president of Cummins heavy-duty, mid-range and light-duty engineering, outlined four “mega-trends” that are fuelling future technological developments in the industry. They include: reducing the environmental impact to the climate; more diversification in energy sources (ie. alternative fuels); increasing connectivity (ie. telematics and remote diagnostics); and sustainable growth (how to improve sustainability across the entire supply chain).

Jeff Jones, vice-president of Cummins North American engine business, said he believes Cummins is in the strongest position it’s ever been in. Its Class 8 market share sits at about 42%.

“That feels pretty good to us in terms of a customer vote of confidence in Cummins as we enter this year where we’re seeing improving business conditions in this market,” he said.


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