November 2, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CDT
MARION, AR--Saying yes to Region 8. A major Japanese auto manufacturer is making plans to build an assembly plant in Crittenden County. Hino is a name already familiar to the town of Marion. The company will soon be building truck parts for Toyota and according to a report in the Wall Street Journal Hino Motors plans to build a truck assembly plant on site.
The area was in the running a couple of year ago for a Toyota plant, so the logistics were already in place for a major company to call Crittenden County home.
"The fact we have two interstate highways that come through here, we have the Mississippi river port here, and we have two railroads and nice holding yard here," said Crittenden County Judge Melton Holt.
A vote of confidence for an area that needed to secure an economic boost.
"It's either that or die on the vine like a lot of our small towns up and down the delta that have already died on the vine," said Holt
For an area that is desperate for jobs the Hino truck plant offers lots of economic opportunity, opportunities that have the community a buzz.
"There's not a lot of industry, there are no jobs really here and this is going to open this up to the people that live here," said Marion Chamber of Commerce Member Debra Fraley.
New industry that will bring more jobs, attract more business and industry in addition to boosting the population.
"The impact is already showing because the town is growing," said Fraley.
"I think it is positive now it's been pretty flat for a number of years but, I think we are seeing some hope now," said Holt.
According to the report Hino's plan is to assemble up to 4,000 trucks a year in Marion with the possibility of more expansion down the road.
"We look forward to something like Hino and hope they do expand," said Holt.