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Cummins is Tata partner for World Truck Project

From automonitor| March 13,2007

Cummins India, a subsidiary of US-based Cummins Inc, will supply  a  common rail diesel engine for the Tata World Truck project.

The company will indigenise an engine from its US portfolio that will be incorporated into heavy duty trucks and buses of Tata Motors. Senior sources told Auto Monitor that Cummins will introduce these engines starting 2008, and has roped in Mico to develop some of the components that will go into the engine. The company is also in talks with several other CV manufacturers, sources said.

Cummins India will supply an estimated 5,000 units of the engines to Tata Motors, which in turn would be using them in the heavy commercial vehicle range. These vehicles would be part of company's World Truck Project. Tata Motors plans to export these vehicles to South Africa, Europe and Korea.  Company sources said the numbers will be on the lower side, and therefore, will be priced at a premium.

Cummins India, which is presently working on localising the content of the ISBe series engine, plans to achieve localisation levels of 50 percent by the time it is launched in 2008. By localising the content of the engines, Cummins expects to bring down the cost substantially, said a company official. The 6.7-litre to 8.9-litre CRDi engines will be offered in the range of 180hp to 300hp and is likely to be at least 5 percent more fuel-efficient compared to existing offerings.

Common rail diesel technology has already made its debut in the passenger car segment but in the commercial vehicle sector, there is a clear opportunity that can be tapped. In terms of clean fuel, CNG has been able to make an impact in the buses segment where thanks to the Supreme Court ruling, CNG powers the Delhi bus fleet. As its availability improves, CNG is likely to spread to other cities and thanks to lower costs at the retail outlet translates into cost-effective operating costs for end-user. In the LCV segment, the Tourister bus from Mahindra & Mahindra comes with a common rail diesel application.  As far as Tata Motors is concerned, the three countries being targeted represent markets where the Tata Motors is keen to leverage its products. The company has already launched its trucks in South Africa and by virtue of its acquisition of Tata Daewoo in 2004, and its alliance with Hispano Carrocera, which makes big bus chassis, will look at these nations as potential markets. It remains to be seen if this engine will make its debut in products launched locally. As far as Europe is concerned, euro 4 norms have already kicked in for heavy duty engines from 2005.

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