Hino Breaks Ground on $160 Million Parts Plant

Executives at Hino Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. on Thursday revealed more details about its planned auto parts plant at a groundbreaking ceremony in Marion.

The 400,000-SF plant will cost $160 million to build and initially employ about 280. Located on a 160-acre site on Kuhn Road in the Railport Industrial Park, the plant will produce parts and components for Toyota vehicles. Production is expected to begin in October 2006.

Economic developers also noted that the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration gave $1.5 million to the project to help expand Marion's water system to support the plant.

The company is seeking applicants for employment. Economic development officials said Thursday that the Arkansas Workforce Center at West Memphis is taking job applications for Hino, and that people interested in applying can call 800-794-0566 or 870-735-6730 or visit http://www.onestop.org.

Gov. Huckabee attended Thursday's groundbreaking, along with Hino chairman Tadaaki Jagawa and Hino Motors Manufacturing USA Inc. president Kimio Watanabe.

Gov. Huckabee announced in May that Tokyo-based Hino would buy the site in Marion to build a plant and make parts for Toyota trucks. At a meeting with reporters after the announcement in May, Hino executives said they hoped to reveal more details about the plant at the groundbreaking, which at the time was scheduled for June.

Hino holds top position in the Japanese market for medium-duty and heavy-duty diesel trucks. The company's other U.S. facilities are at Ontario, Calif.; Corona, Calif.; and Orangeburg, N.Y.