How Cummins will Thrive for the Next 100 Years

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks at Tuesday's Annual Meeting.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks at Tuesday's Annual Meeting.

Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger celebrated Cummins' 100th anniversary and a successful 2018 at the company's Annual Meeting Tuesday, but he said Cummins must push to meet significant challenges ahead to thrive for the next hundred years.

“It’s worth celebrating. It’s worth stopping and wondering what got us here,” Linebarger said of the 100-year milestone the company reached in February. “…But we must also look forward. We need to ask ourselves, ‘What do we need to bring with us and what do we need to change and improve upon, in order to compete for the next 100 years?’”

He said Cummins anniversary theme, Challenge the Impossible, should help ensure the company doesn’t simply look backwards in 2019.


The company’s Annual Meeting is an opportunity for Cummins' leaders to talk about the company’s past year and the future to come. The meeting was held at the Columbus Engine Plant in the company’s headquarters city of Columbus, Indiana (U.S.).

Linebarger did not want to diminish the significance of the anniversary.

“An anniversary is an anniversary, but 100 years as an independent company is not easy to achieve,” he said. “It’s a really important milestone for our company and, frankly, given the change in industry and technology and competitive environment, it’s just getting harder and harder to last 100 years. The odds are pretty strongly against you and here we are 100 years later, still fighting, still succeeding.”

Tom Linebarger speaking at 2019 Annual Meeting
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger lays out the key steps the company must take to thrive in the next 100 years.

He said 2018 was a very strong year, with a company record of $23.8 billion in sales, a 16 percent increase over 2017, which was also a strong year. In the first quarter of 2019, the company had the most profitable quarter in its history.  


Linebarger said to thrive like that in the next 100 years, during good economic times and bad, Cummins must continue to be a leader not just in diesel platforms, but also natural gas, hybrids, electrified power and fuel cells, if that’s where the technology develops.

“Diesel engines have been a leader in our industry for 100 years, but if we look out 100 years they will not be the product of choice in all of our markets,” Linebarger said.

In addition to technology leadership, he said the company must continue to build strong partnerships around the world. Some of the company’s partnerships go back as many as 80 years and have been critical to Cummins’ success.

Linebarger said the company must also continue to help build stronger communities, praising the company’s Cummins Powers Women program launched in 2018. The program is the company’s commitment to the advancement of women and girls around the world by working with nonprofits with proven programs in place to advance gender equity.


Finally, he said environmental sustainability will be increasingly important in the future.

“I think all of us know that in order to continue, in order to thrive a hundred years from now, there will be significant challenges to all industrial companies, and certainly a company in the power business, about what impact we’re having on the environment,” Linebarger said. “We will have to produce wealth for all stakeholders while using less, and it’s just that simple.”

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]


Mario Andretti to drive legendary Cummins race car

Mario Andretti driving the historic Cummins race car

Racing legend and champion, Mario Andretti, is gearing up to drive the 1952 No. 28 Cummins Diesel Special car during prerace activities hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum at this year’s 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).

With Andretti at the wheel, the only diesel-powered car to set pole at the Indianapolis 500 will once again make history around the track.

Cummins has a rich history of "firsts" - from land-speed records to great accomplishments at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Those innovations haven’t always been developed in the laboratory. In fact, the company’s founder, Clessie Cummins, used motor racing to develop many of the core technologies of current Cummins products.

A technology wonder of its day, a team of engineers built the modified 400 cubic-inch, six-cylinder, turbocharged Cummins diesel engine, becoming the first turbocharged engine to run the Indianapolis 500. The car set a one-lap track record of 139 miles per hour in qualifying for the pole position in the 1952 race. 

Taking advantage of rules allowing for larger diesel engines, a crew of Cummins’ engineers and technicians used a modified truck engine in the No. 28 car, with the first turbocharger ever used at the track. The historic 1952 No. 28 car not only featured advances in diesel engine technology, but also Cummins’ innovations in race car chassis design. In 2019, Cummins engineers used 3D printing to recreate a water pump, bringing the car back to running condition. 

Cummins and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have enjoyed a long and storied history together since 1911 at the very first Indianapolis 500. In 2019, Cummins, IMS and the IMS Museum announced a multi-year partnership to recognize a history of innovation, and in April of the same year the No. 28 Cummins Diesel Special ran test laps at the world’s most famous racetrack. 

Morgan Donnelly smiling

Morgan Donnelly

Morgan Donnelly is a Digital Brand Reputation Senior Specialist. She joined the company in 2018 after earning her Bachelor of Art degrees in Strategic Communication and Professional Writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 

Cummins named best employer for diversity 2022

Employees engaging in friendly discussion outside

Cummins Inc. has long demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Company founder J. Irwin Miller marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and contributed to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Cummins severed business with South Africa in a stance against apartheid in the 1980s and has a history of opposing state constitutions banning gay marriage. Today, this legacy is honored with Cummins’ robust commitment to DE&I in all facets of its business, a strategy designed to not only give the company a competitive advantage, but also guide its actions and contributions to communities around the world.

This deep commitment was recently honored by Forbes, ranking Cummins in the No. 4 spot on its prestigious “The Best Employers for Diversity 2022” list, elected by a vast sample of more than 60,000 employees working in all industry sectors. 

"Enabling a diverse, inclusive and accessible environment is integral to who we are,” said Carolyn Butler-Lee, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Cummins Inc.

“Our unwavering commitment is demonstrated through our history and core values, and we embrace our legacy and responsibility to be a values-driven, positive force in society. This recognition reflects our employees’ and leaders’ hard work and dedication to making room for everyone to succeed.” 

The Forbes evaluation was based on four different criteria: direct recommendations from employees for their own employers; indirect recommendations for employers not their own; diversity among top executives/board; and indicators of diversity such as the existence of a management position responsible for diversity, proactive communication of diverse company culture, or a published diversity report. 

“At Cummins, we firmly believe that because today’s societal and environmental challenges impact all of us, we must all have a role in addressing them,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer. “Creating inclusive environments where employees can bring their full selves to work is key to ensuring we have the best, most diverse solutions to these problems. This recognition is a wonderful acknowledgment of the intentionality we put into this effort and how it impacts our company, teams and communities.” 

Last year, amidst the pandemic, supply chain delays and other global headwinds, Cummins strengthened its commitment to DE&I with a refreshed strategy, further promoting a set of forward-thinking initiatives, including: 

  • Cummins Powers Women: a multi-million-dollar investment designed to create large-scale change in the lives of women and girls globally through partnerships with respected, global nonprofit organizations that focus on gender equality. 
  • Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE): an initiative in the United States aiming to dismantle institutional racism while creating systemic equity. The initiative advocates for racial equity for Black people in police reform, criminal justice, social justice and economic empowerment. 
  • The Global Disability Inclusion Strategy: aims to create accessible, inclusive workplaces and communities where people with disabilities are enabled to fulfill their potential. 
  • LGBTQ+ Safe Leader Training: a global skill-building program available to Cummins employees and shared with external organizations that include a nuanced overview of how to effectively address topics related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other identities that can manifest conscious or unconscious bias in the workplace. 
  • Cummins’ Veterans Strategy: a program designed to build strong partnerships and invest its people, energy and financial resources to shape military recruiting and retention programs, and to advance initiatives that focus on improving the lives and well-being of veterans and their families. 
Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

Sale of mask operation advances Cummins’ goal of creating sustainable Black-owned businesses

Mask producing operation inside Cummins Engine Plant

Global power leader Cummins Inc. is using its U.S.- based mask-making operation, created to guard against the spread of COVID-19 in company facilities, to partner with a minority-owned business that wants to expand.

The equipment used to make masks at the Columbus Engine Plant in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.), has been sold to a Black businessman in nearby Indianapolis, who plans on creating a disability-friendly employer producing masks beyond the immediate response to the pandemic.

“This sale created a new Black American manufacturer,” said Helena Hutton, Senior Director of Cummins’ Center of Excellence for Supplier Inclusion in Strategic Purchasing. “It illustrates Cummins’ commitment to partner with diverse-owned companies and contribute to generational wealth-building with business leaders of color. I am proud to be part of a company that makes deals like this one happen.”

Christopher Barney, the owner of Team Cruiser, a logistics and supply company that has worked with Cummins in the past, hopes to offer masks for sale to the public later this year. 

“We were very interested, for two specific reasons,” Barney said. “The first reason is the ability to learn and grow from a manufacturing perspective with a global manufacturing company like Cummins. The second reason is that it provides us the opportunity to impact and serve the communities that we live in by providing jobs and supplying a quality American-made personal protective equipment mask.”


In 2020, Cummins established mask-making operations in the United States, Mexico, and India to provide some 10 million masks to its employees worldwide. With the pandemic seeming to wind down in the United States as more people get vaccinated, and with a healthy surplus of masks at the ready if needed in the U.S., the time was right for the company to think about selling the operations in Columbus, said Cummins Partnership Strategy Manager Tarek Elharis. 

Mask production at Cummins

The company never intended to produce masks beyond the pandemic, said Elharis, who has been active in the mask-making operation. Since the sale, the Cummins employees who had been making masks have been redeployed to areas of the company experiencing heavy demand as the U.S. economy recovers.

When selling the mask operation became a possibility, the company’s Supply Chain organization and Strategy function began looking for ways to accomplish something more than simply getting the equipment out of the engine plant.

They found that opportunity in Barney and Team Cruiser.


The Team Cruiser Conversion Company was established in 1983, providing heavy-duty automotive and industrial equipment customization and up-fitting solutions to meet commercial and municipal specifications. Over the past 30 years, Barney’s business has worked with companies like Navistar, Arvin Meritor, Cummins and others.

Barney said he is always looking for new challenges and the chance to develop a new line of business for Team Cruiser was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“We have been blessed to have a unique relationship with Cummins in the fact that we sold millions of dollars of engine products to our customer base and are familiar with their culture and desire to be first in class in their industry,” Barney said. “We feel that this played a very important role in understanding the importance of the quality of the product that we produce. We are now able to be both a customer, dealer, partner and a vendor.”

Barney’s team is now working to establish a web-presence for its new line of products. It’s also working with several veterans’ groups and organizations serving people with blindness and other disabilities to create a workspace that can safely employ people with disabilities in its manufacturing operations.

Priscila Mendes, Vice President of Purchasing, Supply Chain Management said, “This is a chance for Cummins to help build stronger communities where it does business and live the company’s value of diversity and inclusion for all business owners.”

Learn more in the podcast, the “Making of an American Manufacturer” as Barney and Elharis discuss this alongside Dr. Ken Harris, the President/ECO of the National Business League.


Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

Cummins fuel cells to power Scania’s fuel cell electric trucks

Electric Scania truck powered by Cummins hydrogern fuel system

Article Highlights

  • Cummins Inc. is providing proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems to Scania for use in 20 fuel cell electric heavy vehicles (FCEV)
  • Scania’s existing battery electric vehicle platform will be used to integrate Cummins’ fuel cell systems
  • The 20 fuel cell electric trucks will be delivered to HyTrucks in 2024 as part of the jointly created initiative in the Netherlands
  • HyTrucks aims to deploy 1,000 hydrogen-powered, zero-emission trucks and 25 hydrogen refueling stations by 2025

What kind of power does it take to make a heavy-duty vehicle run? Take into consideration their high duty cycles and loaded vehicle weights of up to 42 tons in mainland Europe and 70 tons or more in Scandinavia. That is a lot of truck. Diesel is still the dominant solution, as the “go-to” fuel source for heavy-duty mobility with the most extensive infrastructure support. To date, alternative fuels have only played a niche role in heavy transportation – but that could change significantly in light of the European Union’s climate protection initiative and Green Deal.

With the increased urgency for more sustainable power sources and the push to decarbonize the automotive and mobility sectors, diesel as the go-to fuel is changing. In addition to battery electric solutions, hydrogen fuel cells will be critical in the transition to zero-emissions for heavy-duty trucking. 

Cummins Inc. and Scania, a world-leading provider of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, are taking a step forward in the development and deployment of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Through their collaboration, Cummins is providing an initial 20 proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems to be integrated into Scania’s existing battery-electric vehicle (BEV) platform. 

The project is a strong demonstration of hydrogen’s viability as an alternative power fuel due to its energy density and flexible use. It allows for longer driving ranges, heavier payloads, and shorter refueling times compared to battery recharging. And when hydrogen fuel is generated using renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydropower, it is carbon-free.

Electric Scania truck powered by Cummins hydrogen fuel cell system | 2020
Electric Scania truck powered by Cummins hydrogen fuel cell system | 2020

Once the Cummins fuel cell systems are incorporated into the Scania trucks, the 20 fuel cell-electric vehicles (FCEV) will be delivered in 2024 to the HyTrucks Consortium, a hydrogen initiative that is one of the largest European projects to deploy heavy-duty, zero-emissions fleets into Europe’s high-traffic areas.

This collaboration is not the first time Cummins and Scania have worked together on hydrogen. Since the beginning of 2020, four electric Scania trucks powered by Cummins fuel cell systems have been in operation in Norway as part of a first-of-its-kind pilot project with ASKO, Norway’s largest grocery wholesaler. 

Katherine de Guia

Communications Specialist - New Power

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