by Lance Turner
Posted 10/1/2013 04:45 pm
Updated 5 months ago
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission announced Tuesday that Hino Motors Manufacturing USA will expand its Marion plant, investing $55 million and adding 200 jobs.
"Hino appreciates the support it received from the City of Marion and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to help facilitate these projects," Ed Rowlett, Hino's general manager, said in a news release. "Both have been outstanding partners, beginning with our site selection meetings in 2004 and continuing without fail throughout."
Hino employs 350 at the plant, which is down from the 750 people it claimed in 2007. Hiring will begin in 2015, but the company said most of the new jobs will come online in 2017.
The expansion will include adding a new building and new and retooled manufacturing lines and equipment. The company has yet to determine specifics for the new building. In all, the expansion will allow Hino to grow its capacity to make axles, knuckles and suspension components for Toyota's Tacoma, Tundra and Sequoia trucks.
AEDC said Hino received two performance-based incentives for the expansion: a sales tax refund on building materials and equipment associated with the expansion, and the "create rebate," an eight-year, 5 percent cash rebate on payroll taxes for the new jobs the expansion will create.
The project also received a $1.2 million Community Development Block Grant to help cover infrastructure costs for the expansion. According to AEDC, the grant will go to the city of Marion, which will provide it to Hino.*
Hino Motors Manufacturing USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hino Motors Ltd. and a Toyota Group Company. Hino Motors Ltd. makes medium- and heavy-duty trucks in Japan. It also makes buses and diesel engines, Toyota's FJ Cruiser and Land Cruiser Prado.
In the US, Hino assembles medium-duty trucks at its Williamstown, W.Va., plant. Hino's Parts Distribution Center in Mira Loma, Calif., supplies Latin American and Caribbean distributors with Hino service parts.
"We are very appreciative of Hino's investment in Marion and the company's confidence in our business environment," Marion Mayor Frank Fogleman said. "Hino has been a model corporate citizen and we look forward to an even stronger relationship moving forward."
Hino broke ground on its 400,000-SF Marion facility in July 2004 and began production in April 2006. The plant is located on a 160-acre plot in the Marion Railport Industrial Park near the southwest corner of Red Cross and Kuhn roads. Hino chose Marion for its part plants in May 2004 after looking at 20 sites across the country.
As of 2007, about 750 people worked at the plant.
(*AEDC originally said the $1.2 million came from the governor's Quick Action Closing Fund, but later corrected that information. It is coming from a Community Development Block Grant.)