Isuzu firms up Cummins link: Japanese report

Reported moved comes more than two years after letter of intent


Isuzu is to the take Cummins medium-duty engines in exchange for the Japanese firm’s light-duty offering, according to a Japanese business media report.

Nikkei Asia says the Cummins engines will boost power in mid-range engines, with Isuzu adjusting them for compliance in various jurisdictions, while Cummins gains stock to fill out the lighter end of its demand.

If confirmed, it will appear to be the fruition of efforts ongoing since a letter of intent was signed in October 2018.

That presaged the formation of teams looking into collaboration around product technology development and service, and the possibility of a long-term partnership around diesel and natural gas internal combustion engines and electrification.

Read how the link between Cummins and Isuzu emerged, here

The report comes at an interesting and complex time for both companies.

Though focused on bigger engines, Cummins underscored its hydrogen ambitions in November, in what chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger describes as an “aggressive strategy” focused on hydrogen electrolysers.

It has also looked to get ahead of new US emissions standards for heavy- and medium-duty engines, with its Efficiency Series.

At the time, Linebarger said of the letter of intent with Isuzu: “Our companies share a commitment to technology leadership, quality and dependability for our customers, and global reach.”

Isuzu is in the midst of adding UD Trucks to its structure in a deal with Volvo Group, which is cool on Cummins at the heavier end given it has its own big-bore engines.

That deal envisages joint development by Isuzu and UD of common platforms for medium and heavy-duty truck models for the Japanese and other Asian markets, utilising, amongst others, Volvo Group technology, Isuzu and Volvo said late last year.


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