Another major “Path to Zero” purchase by Cummins

By Mike Brezonick09 February 2022

Continuing on its “Path to Zero” strategy to significantly reduce emissions from its products, Cummins Inc. announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Jacobs Vehicle Systems (JVS), a subsidiary of Altra Industrial Motion Corp., and a supplier of engine braking, cylinder deactivation, start and stop and thermal management technologies.

Jacobs CDA Cummins announced it will purchase Jacobs Vehicle Systems, manufacturer of cylinder deactivation technology (shown), compression brakes and other valvetrain technologies, for $325 million. (Photo: Jacobs)

Altra said the business, which generated approximately $193 million in revenue in 2021, would be acquired by Cummins for $325 million. The announcement came just two days after Cummins announced it would buy out Westport Fuel Systems’ stake in the Cummins Westport joint venture that manufactures and markets gaseous fueled engines,

The agreement brings the addition of new technologies to provide growth opportunities for Cummins’ current and future advanced diesel engine platforms. The acquisition of JVS also secures critical United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) qualified engine components for current and aftermarket products and expands on Cummins Turbo Technologies’ success with customers globally, Cummins said.

“JVS brings engineering expertise, best in class products and key manufacturing capabilities to Cummins that will allow us to continue developing component technologies that deliver market leading performance and emissions,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins’ president and chief operating officer. “We expect that this transaction will provide both attractive financial returns and future growth opportunities for our company.”

Cummins said it plans to maintain JVS’ customer relationships and offer improved value and other benefits to the customers of both companies. Operations from the acquisition will report into Cummins Turbo Technologies, a business unit led by Shon Wright, vice president of Cummins Turbo Technologies, part of the company’s Components segment. “We’re excited about the prospect of welcoming employees from JVS into the Cummins organization and look forward to adding their deep engineering talent to complement our expertise as we work together to develop innovative and cost-effective products now, and in the future,” Wright said.

Clessie Cummins Cummins founder Clessie Cummins invented the Jacobs engine compression brake, which became widely known as the “Jake Brake.” (Photo: Jacobs).

The acquisition also represents another step forward in Cummins’ continued investment in key technologies to advance its Path to Zero emissions strategy intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the air quality impacts of its products. Engine braking and cylinder deactivation technologies will be key components to meeting current and future emissions regulations, Cummins said, and this acquisition would allow Cummins to better integrate valuable components with its emissions-leading medium- and heavy-duty engines.

Founded in 1961, JVS has approximately 600 employees and more than 60 years of experience in engine retarding and valve actuation systems for the commercial vehicle industry. Since then, more than nine million engine brakes have been produced by JVS for commercial vehicles throughout the world. More recently, the company’s fulcrum bridge valvetrain technology has found increasing application on off-road equipment engines.

There is also historical linkage between JVS and Cummins. In 1961, JVS introduced the first engine brake, commonly referred to as the “Jake Brake” for commercial vehicles, which was invented by Cummins founder Clessie Cummins.

“We believe this acquisition is a terrific move to continue the rich tradition of JVS innovation,” said Carl Christenson, chairman and CEO of Altra. “The sale of JVS to Cummins will provide new opportunities to innovate and evolve industries that both companies have been part of for more than 60 years.”

JVS has two primary manufacturing facilities in Bloomfield, Conn., in the U.S. and Suzhou, China. Cummins said it expects to invest additional capacity and resources into JVS operations. The additional manufacturing footprint will also help Cummins meet USMCA requirements and further invest in the U.S.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during this calendar year.

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