Thursday, April 08, 2010

EMD celebrates five-year “independence” milestone

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LaGrange, Ill.-based Electo-Motive Diesel Inc. this week marked its fifth year as an independent manufacturing company since being spun off from General Motors Corp. in April 2005. The locomotive builder celebrated the occasion at its headquarters and manufacturing facility along with Reps. Dan Lipinki (D-Ill.) and Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), McCook, Ill., Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski, and Countryside, Ill., Mayor Robert A. Conrad.

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Said EMD President and CEO John S. Hamilton, “Five years ago there were feelings of uncertainty regarding the future of the organization. Employees who had worked their entire careers at GM did not quite know what to expect as there were many challenges facing the company.”  He added, “There is little doubt that had EMD remained under GM ownership that the story today would be quite different.”  Hamilton went on to describe EMD as arguably the most successful of all GM spinoffs despite the effects of the great recession. 

The company says in that five-year span, it has increased investment in R&D, nearly tripled capital expenditure,s upgrading its factories with state-of-the-art equipment, doubled revenue, increased exports five-fold, and grew its labor force and supplier base significantly.

Hamilton said, “EMD is an iconic American high-technology manufacturing company that has transformed itself into one of the true success stories in heavy manufacturing.” 

“EMD’s ability to successfully navigate through a period of extraordinary economic turmoil is a testament to the talent and hard work of the investors and managers who have revitalized this once-dominant company since purchasing it from General Motors,” Congressman Lipinski said. “EMD’s performance over the past five years furnishes yet more proof that with dedication, foresight, and the proper investment, American manufacturing has what it takes to thrive in today’s global economy. I congratulate EMD and its employees, and I look forward to watching it build on its storied past and continue growing as a major employer in the Third District for many years to come.”

“It’s exciting to celebrate this special anniversary with all the dedicated employees whos eingenuity and hard work have made Electro-Motive Diesel such a success,” said Congresswoman  Biggert. “In just a few short years, the company has positioned itself as an industry leader, bringing advanced and efficient designs to our rail yards, expanding exports, and creating good jobs right here in suburban Chicago.  I congratulate John Hamilton and his staff on their anniversary, and I look forward to seeing EMD continue to grow, innovate, and prosper.”

EMD also noted it and South Africa’s Transnet RailEngineering (TRE) completed  delivery last month of 50 Class 39-200 locomotives to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR). The completion of the entire order took less than a year once production started. The delivery marked the first new diesel locomotives ordered by TFR in more than 20 years. EMD cultivated more than 300 South African suppliers to give the Class 39-200 locomotive 67% local South African content.

EMD last month also signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Mohawarean Group in Saudi Arabia to form a joint venture, under which EMD would “provide expert service training and technical support to the maintenance and operational personnel for the entire fleet of locomotives in the region.”