Cummins Inc., the longtime diesel engine supplier to the Ram trucks, was given Chrysler's 2012 Sustainability Supplier of the Year award for the company's efforts in the areas of environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Supplier awards were given in the areas of Metallic, Powertrain, Electrical, Chemical, Mopar, Quality, Innovation, Services, Capital Expenditure, Logistics, Sustainability, and Diversity Supplier Development. For the first time in the award's history, suppliers were allowed to nominate themselves for consideration for the sustainability and diversity supplier development awards.

Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne recognized the approximately 1400 global supplier executives on hand at the ceremony and thanked them for their contributions to the company's turnaround efforts. "Thanks to our suppliers, we have revitalized our product lineup, substantially improved quality, grown sales and market share, and returned to profitability -- all at remarkable speed."

Prior to Fiat's purchase of the Chrysler Group in 2009, the company was briefly owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which was criticized for its inept management of the automaker and poor relationship with suppliers, which Marchionne has worked hard to improve.

Cummins' Columbus, Indiana, plant, where the B-series Cummins engines for the Ram HD line are manufactured, was built in 1971, and its design and construction placing most of the plant underground has contributed to its energy efficiency.

Cummins has supplied diesel engines to the Ram truck line since 1989, and is credited by many for starting the performance diesel trend in the full-size truck market, with Ford introducing its Power Stroke diesel in 1994, and General Motors following with the Duramax diesel V-8 in 2001.

Source: Cummins, Chrysler