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Japan's Hino Motors To Open Truck Assembly
Plant in Williamstown
At a ceremony today, Gov. Joe Manchin
joined Hideichiro Chikahiro, president of Hino Motors
Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. (HMMUSA), Sen. Jay Rockefeller and
local officials to announce that the company will assemble
medium and heavy-duty trucks here. This is the first vehicle
assembly facility in West Virginia. The $8.6 million investment
will be used to upgrade the former Walker Systems facility and
install manufacturing equipment at the 30.35-acre site at 1000
Innovation Drive. Once operations begin in November, the
194,000-square-foot plant will employ about 80 people who will
build 2,500 trucks annually.
"We are extremely proud to welcome Hino
Motors to West Virginia and to officially announce the formation
of what I'm sure will be a wonderful, long-term partnership,"
Manchin said. "This announcement is the result of remarkable
cooperation and coordination among state agencies, local
development authorities and private industry.
"The Williamstown plant is not only West
Virginia's first vehicle assembly plant, it's also the first assembly
plant for Hino Motors in the U.S.," the governor said. "It's a great day
for Wood County and for West Virginia."
Chikahiro said, "We are happy to call Wood
County, West Virginia, home to our new truck assembly plant. This
represents the latest step in our ambitious growth plans in America and
we will strive to be a good corporate citizen while growing with the
city, county and state."
Rockefeller said he is incredibly proud to have
helped bring Hino Motors to West Virginia.
Rockefeller, who has a long history of
attracting Japanese investment to West Virginia, first pursued Hino in
2001 and invited the company to participate in an investment seminar in
the state. Following their visit, Rockefeller met with Hino officials
that same year during a trade mission to Japan where he urged the
officials, including current Hino Chairman, Mr. Jagawa Tadaaki, to
consider locating in West Virginia. Since that time, Rockefeller has
continued to encourage Hino to locate a facility here, and has worked
with Manchin and others to ensure this day became a reality.
Manchin said the state's strategic location
puts Hino's trucks close to the company's customer base in the eastern
United States. West Virginia is within overnight shipping distance of
more than half the U.S. population.
Last month, HMMUSA announced it will invest an
additional $70 million to add equipment to its 400,000-square-foot
Marion, Arkansas, plant. The plant represents a $230 million investment
and employs more than 600 people. Toyota owns controlling interest of
Hino Motors Ltd.
Outline of Hino West Virginia Location:
1000 Innovation Drive, Williamstown, West
Plant overview: Medium and heavy truck
Production capacity: 2,500 trucks per year
Site area: 30.35 acres
Investment: $8.6 million
Start of production: November 2007
Employment: Approx. 80
(June 25, 2007)