- EMD now "Electro-Motive Diesel"
One of the oldest names in railway supply and locomotive building has
changed ownership and its corporate name, but retains the acronym most
closely associated with it-EMD.
After several years of attempting a spin-off, General Motors has
completed the sale of its Electro-Motive Division to a consortium of
investors led by Greenbriar Equity Group LLC and Berkshire Partners LLC.
The company is still known as EMD, but the initials now stand for
In a sense, this is the fourth generation of the company that in the
1930s introduced essentially off-the-shelf, standardized diesel-electric
locomotives that (along with locomotives from other builders like General
Electric and Alco) by 1960 had completely replaced steam locomotives in
North American freight and passenger regular revenue service.
Electro-Motive Engineering was founded in 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, by
H.L. Hamilton and Paul Turner. In 1925, it changed its name to
Electro-Motive Corporation. EMC, along with Winton Engine, was acquired
in 1930 by General Motors, which formed the Electro-Motive Division.
EMD's LaGrange, Ill., plant opened in 1935.
The Greenbriar/Berkshire acquisition covers substantially all of the
Electro-Motive businesses, including North American and international
locomotives; power, marine, and industrial products; the spare parts and
parts rebuild business; and all of Electro-Motive's locomotive
maintenance contracts worldwide. Both the LaGrange and London, Ontario,
manufacturing facilities are included.
John Hamilton is EMD's new president and CEO. Hamilton, who worked with
Greenbriar and Berkshire on the EMD transaction for more than a year, is
described as "having served in senior management roles leading the
successful turnaround of several manufacturing companies in the
transportation industry over the past decade." Jerry Greenwald, a founder
of Greenbriar and formerly vice chairman of Chrysler in the 1980s and
more recently CEO of United Airlines, is non-executive chairman of EMD.
EMD's new website is www.EMDiesels.com.