Cummins Inc. said today that it would consolidate its heavy-duty engine assembly and test operations into its Jamestown, NY engine plant by closing engine assembly operations at its Columbus, IN plant in the first quarter of 2003.

Company spokesperson Amy Davis told Fleet Owner that layoffs at Columbus and new hires in Jamestown would result in a net loss of about 200 jobs.

"Cummins is committed to competing profitably in the heavy-duty engine business," executive vp Joe Loughrey said in a press release. "This action is part of our overall strategy to do so, and is not connected to current market conditions."

"The heavy duty engine business has not been as profitable as we want during the past 10 years, and this restructuring has been designed to address this issue," Davis told Fleet Owner. The consolidation will leave Jamestown, which is the company's most modern assembly line, as Cummins' only heavy-duty engine plant, Davis said. Medium-duty engines will still be built in Rocky Mount, NC, and Walesboro, IN.

Loughrey said the Jamestown plant has the flexibility and capacity to meet all customer requirements for its 11-litre and 15-litre engines more productively and cost-effectively than any other alternative.

Cummins will continue to machine cylinder heads and engine blocks at the Columbus engine plant.