April 6, 2020 2:30 PM, EDT

Cummins Halts Production at Southern Indiana Plants

Cummins HQCummins headquarters in Columbus, Ind. (Cummins)

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Cummins Inc. has temporarily closed until May 4 manufacturing facilities in southern Indiana as the company continues to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic. The step came a day after it put in place pay cuts throughout the company.

The affected Cummins plants include one that makes larger, big horsepower engines (such as for generators), a midrange engine plant that supplies engines almost entirely to the Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 vehicles, a fuel systems plant and one involved in heavy-duty machining, according to the Columbus, Ind.-based manufacturer, which is the leader in sales of Class 8 engines to U.S. truck makers.

Other U.S. operations, including its plant in Jamestown, N.Y. — which the company calls the largest heavy-duty diesel engine plant in the world — remain open, a spokesman said April 4.

Cummins headquarters

Cummins' Columbus, Ind., plant by Darron Cummings/AP

About 2,000 employees in Indiana will be sent home and not be paid during the shutdown, but Cummins will continue their medical, dental and life insurance benefits for up to 90 days.

“This matters to us. Obviously, May 4 is well within that window, so hopefully we can get everybody back to work by May 4,” spokesman Jon Mills told Transport Topics . “We are confident we are going to work through this.”

Asked about the timing of the latest decision after one a day earlier, Mills said, “The spread of the coronavirus was sudden and swift, and the leadership team is also responding quickly to adjust. We want to make sure we continue to be a strong company, and continue to do the right things for our customers and employees and for the communities where we live and work.”

Cummins earlier halted production at a remanufacturing facility in Memphis, Tenn.

“We reduced hours and changed shifts to provide more social distancing responding to lower demand” at other U.S. sites, Mills said.

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