Hino Official Says Crittenden County Truck Plant Possible in 2010

JULY 28, 2006 - Posted at 4:19 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An official with Hino Motors says construction on a new truck assembly plant in Arkansas could start by 2009 if Hino meets its goal of selling 10,000 vehicles in the U.S.

Arkansas hasn't landed an assembly plant yet, though Governor Huckabee recently visited Asia on an economic development trip.  Hino's Yoichi Ishida says Huckabee's visit to Hino helped strengthen the state's ties with the manufacturer and would probably help attract other businesses to the state.

Speaking at a luncheon today in Little Rock, Ishida said a truck parts plant in Marion is set to begin production in September on truck axles and other components for the Toyota Tundra pickup truck.

Hino is a Japanese subsidiary of Toyota.

Ishida says production in the parts plant will begin in September and Hino officials plan an official dedication ceremony sometime in October.

Ishida says the company's chairman has mentioned 2010 as a goal for possibly opening a truck assembly plant, but that timeline depends on whether the company can hit its goal for sales in the U.S.  To open a plant by 2010, construction would need to begin sometime in 2009.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)