Wall Street Journal: Hino to Build Truck Assembly Plant in Crittenden County

NOVEMBER 2, 2005 - Posted at 10:31 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An executive of Hino Motors Ltd. says the Toyota subsidiary plans to build a truck assembly plant at Marion.  That's from a report in today's Wall Street Journal.

Hino is hiring workers for a truck parts plant under construction at Marion, and the facility would also add an assembly component, making it the company's second U.S. plant.

Hino chairman Tadaaki Jagawa told the newspaper while in Chicago that Hino plans to double U.S. production of medium duty trucks, rolling out 10,000 anually by 2007.

The Marion plant is envisioned as a full assembly plant that would rely on component parts manufactured in the area.

Jagawa told the paper that Hino wants to start truck production in Arkansas in 2007.

According to the report, Hino plans to build as many 4,000 trucks per year in Marion, with expansion a possibility.

Meanwhile, Governor Huckabee today refused to confirm today's Wall Street Journal report.  Huckabee said he didn't have the authority to make an announcement for a Japanese company.  He said it would be an announcement he would love to make.

Arkansas economic development officials have declined to comment on the report, as have officials with the chambers of commerce and economic development offices in both Marion and West Memphis.  Marion economic development director Kay Brockwell and Mayor Frank Fogleman are both out-of-town today, according to their offices.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)