Cummins Inc. is temporarily closing the Columbus MidRange Engine Plant (CMEP) in Walesboro, Indiana, as a result of Chrysler’s decision last week to idle its manufacturing operations while it undergoes bankruptcy reorganization.
CMEP is the sole manufacturing site for the 6.7-liter turbo diesel engine used in the heavy-duty Dodge Ram pickup truck. The plant will close effective May 15 and be down until Chrysler resumes pickup truck production.
Chrysler’s Dodge Ram manufacturing plant in Saltillo, Mexico, which closed Monday, is expected to be idle for at least four weeks and Chrysler has indicated that its entire manufacturing operation could remain closed for nine weeks or longer.
The shutdown affects a total of approximately 690 workers at CMEP. Cummins will layoff approximately 610 hourly workers – 560 members of the Diesel Workers Union and 50 members of the Office Committee Union. The company plans to redeploy as many of the 80 exempt employees in the plant as possible throughout its Southern Indiana operations.
The last work day for most of the hourly employees at CMEP will be May 13. A small staff will be retained through the end of May to complete the shutdown process.
“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.
“At the same time, the Dodge Ram is a valuable part of Chrysler’s product portfolio, and the Cummins turbo diesel engine for the heavy-duty pickup has been a key part of the Ram’s success for more than two decades. We are hopeful that once Chrysler emerges from its reorganization, demand for our award-winning engine will return.”
In actions unrelated to the Chrysler bankruptcy, Cummins also announced today that it will permanently layoff approximately 110 hourly workers in June at three locations in Southern Indiana:
- Approximately 30 workers at the Cummins Fuel Systems Plant in Columbus will be laid off effective June 1.
- Approximately 50 workers at the Cummins Industrial Center in Seymour will be laid off effective June 1. The plant manufactures high horsepower engines used in industrial, power generation, marine and military applications.