MAY 5, 2004 - Posted at 8:40 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Sources tell the Associated Press that a truck parts plant is planned for east Arkansas and that its construction could signal that an automobile assembly plant is coming, too.
A pair of sources told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Hino Motors Limited decision to build the plant in Arkansas is a prelude to building an assembly plant. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hino will announce plans later for an assembly plant to open sometime around 2007.
Governor Huckabee's office confirmed this morning that Huckabee will be at the site of the parts plant at 1:30 this afternoon to "make a major economic development announcement." The site is in the Crittenden County town of Marion.
The sources said Hino would announce, possibly this summer, that it would build trucks at Marion as part of its separately announced plan to increase international sales. Hino makes medium and large trucks and buses.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported in a copyright article Tuesday that Hino would announce this month that it would build a parts plant near Marion. The Evening Times of West Memphis reported Tuesday that, according to a translation of a Japanese press report, Hino intends to eventually build trucks in Crittenden County.