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Hino Expands Factory to Build Class 7-8 Trucks in U.S.

Hino plans to expand its U.S. manufacturing beyond medium duty trucks to Class 8 vehicles.

Hino plans to expand its West Virginia assembly complex to launch a new line of Class 7 and 8 trucks in the U.S.

The Toyota Motor Corp. subsidiary wants to double the company’s share of the U.S. truck market over the next six years. The first trucks are scheduled to come off the new assembly line in early 2019.

Hino plans to invest about $100 million in the facility, creating about 250 new jobs in early 2020 over a two-shift operation, and moving Hino’s 300 current employees from its plant in Mineral Wells, W. Va., to the new facility.

The new truck line will be powered by what the company called its “proven” A09, 9-liter engine that already is sold in many other markets around the world. It produces 300 to 360 horsepower. Hino is planning a formal introduction of the new truck at the 2018 Work Truck Show in March in Indianapolis.

The company said it will purchase and convert a vacant distribution center in Mineral Wells that formerly was operated by retailer Coldwater Creek, which was liquidated in 2014. More than 300 jobs were lost when it was shut down, and local and state officials were trying to find a new tenant for the site.

Hino will house cab-assembly operations there, an operation that currently is conducted in Japan, part of its strategy of localizing more parts and operations from its home country to other markets.

“Our growth and customer acceptance in the Class 4-7 market are enabling us to introduce a wider variety of products,” said Yoshinori Noguchi, CEO of Hino North America.

Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. President Takashi Ono said the new plant, “which is four times the size of our current plant, will allow us to combine several assembly operations under one roof, which will provide significant efficiency gains.

“Over 10 years, we have increased our production by 500,000” trucks, Ono said at a presentation with state and local government officials. “We have outgrown our current home, and now we need to take our next step.”

Hino also said that it broke ground last month on a new, $20-million U.S. corporate headquarters in Novi, Mich., which will consolidate sales, marketing, service, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing and its Insight Diagnostic Center, which monitors vehicle performance and uptime for all Hino trucks equipped with its Insight telematics system.

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