Diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. and Beijing-based Beiqi Foton Motor Co. are forming a 50-50 joint venture company, Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Co. Ltd. (BFCEC), to produce two types of Cummins light-duty, high-performance diesel engines for trucks in China.

“These engines primarily will be used in light-duty commercial trucks, pickup trucks, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles,” said Joe Loughrey, Cummins’ president & COO. “Certain types of marine, small construction equipment and industrial applications also will be served by this engine family.”

The two partners initially will invest a combined $126 million in BFCEC, with the joint venture’s factory able to build 400,000 units annually beginning in 2008. The factory will produce mainly the Cummins 2.8-L and 3.8-L clean diesel engines, which will meet stringent on-highway and off-highway emission standards worldwide, including Euro IV and above, said Loughrey.

Beiqi Foton Motor, founded in 1996, is a major producer in the light-duty truck market in China, selling more than 260,000 units in 2005. Cummins said the light-duty truck market in China produced 860,000 units in 2005 and is projected to grow at 8% a year “for the foreseeable future.”

BFCEC represents a further expansion of Cummins' product line in China, Loughrey said, as it began licensing its engine technology in China in 1981 and formed its first joint venture in the country in 1995.

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