Cummins is temporarily closing the Columbus MidRange Engine Plant in Walesboro, Ind., just outside Columbus, as a result of Chrysler's decision last week to idle its manufacturing operations while it undergoes bankruptcy reorganization.

CMEP is the sole manufacturing site for the 6.7-liter turbo diesel engine used in the heavy-duty Dodge Ram pickup truck. The plant will close effective May 15 and be down until Chrysler resumes pickup truck production.

Chrysler's Dodge Ram manufacturing plant in Saltillo, Mexico, which closed Monday, is expected to be idle for at least four weeks and Chrysler has indicated that its entire manufacturing operation could remain closed for nine weeks or longer.

"The engines we produce for Chrysler make up virtually all the demand at CMEP, and without the Chrysler production it is not economically feasible to operate the plant," said Jim Kelly, president of the Engine Business. "There is considerable uncertainty around Chrysler and when it will resume manufacturing operations, which makes it necessary for us to take this difficult action.

"At the same time, the Dodge Ram is a valuable part of Chrysler's product portfolio, and the Cummins turbo diesel engine for the heavy-duty pickup has been a key part of the Ram's success for more than two decades. We are hopeful that once Chrysler emerges from its reorganization, demand for our award-winning engine will return."

In actions unrelated to the Chrysler bankruptcy, Cummins also announced that it will permanently layoff approximately 110 hourly workers in June at three locations in Southern Indiana: Approximately 30 workers at the Cummins Fuel Systems Plant in Columbus will be laid off effective June 1. Approximately 30 workers in the Heavy Duty Machining operation at Columbus Engine Plant will be laid off effective June 29. The operation machines cylinder blocks and heads for heavy duty engines produced by Cummins in Jamestown, N.Y.

These job reductions are in response to further weakening demand for engines and components as a result of the global recession.