Associated Press Published

Truck Maker Hino to Relocate Assembly Plant in West Virginia


Japanese truck maker Hino Motors Manufacturing said Wednesday it is moving its West Virginia assembly plant about 20 miles to a larger location at a former retail distribution center.

Hino Motors Manufacturing President Takashi Ono said the $100 million investment could create up to 250 new jobs.

Upscale retailer Coldwater Creek closed its nearly 1 million-square-foot distribution center near Mineral Wells in 2014 after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Wood County Development Authority owns the property.

Hino currently assembles medium-duty trucks at a 245,000-square foot facility that opened in 2007 in the Wood County community of Williamstown. That facility currently employs about 300.

The company expects the new location to be operational by 2019. State economic development officials said it will house several operations, including cab assembly currently handled in Japan.

West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said the expanded facility could help the state attract other suppliers to the region.

“We feel this may be the beginning of many good things,” Thrasher said.

Hino’s American headquarters are located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The company operates a parts plant in Marion, Arkansas, and parts distribution centers in Mira Loma, California and Gahanna, Ohio.

Hino is owned by the Toyota Group. It marks the second economic expansion announcement in two days involving Toyota with a facility in West Virginia.

On Tuesday, Toyota Motor Corp. announced a $374 million investment at five U.S. plants to support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain, including $115 million to add hybrid vehicle transmission production in Buffalo, West Virginia.