Cummins and Allison Transmission are hardly new brands, with both their histories spanning over a century, but they find themselves facing new-world problems and the need to adapt as the transport industry does.
Manufacturers are chasing new forms of propulsion, be it hydrogen, electric or hybrids – forcing suppliers to keep up and tip significant amounts into R&D.
However, according to an analyst at PwC, the industry is still facing clouds of uncertainty through the chase to lower emissions.
“The path for powertrain development is clear, because everyone is moving in the same direction towards a common goal: namely, major reductions in CO2 emissions,” the analyst said.
“Although the global market for combustion engines will grow at least until 2025, due to underlying demand growth in Asia, growth after that will be offset through the emergence of alternative powertrain types, in all markets.”
Both major players in the drivetrain market are aware of the need to adapt and are already joining to push towards electrification, with Cummins investing in an electric engine rather than turning to the diesel platform the business is built on.
Cummins told analysts it will have a fully electrified powertrain available to customers by the end of 2019. The following year, the company plans to roll out all-electric products with an extended operating range, making them more suitable for longer-haul vehicles.
“We understand the world’s changing. We think that means opportunity,” said Cummins CEO Linebarger.
Allison’s CEO Lawrence Dewey feels the transmission company is already well in preparation for a hybrid or electric future.
“The combination of our electrification experience and expertise, vocational knowledge and product-planning discipline uniquely positions Allison to have the right products for the right customers at the right time,” he said.
“The broader economic factors drive the size of the market. Our intention is, within whatever context develops, to be a relevant product offering that provides significant value to customers and be their system of choice.”