MARION, Ark., May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, May 11, Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. (Hino) celebrated the start of Hino, Arkansas' production of Toyota Tacoma rear axles and front knuckle assemblies. Among the many dignitaries and business leaders attending the celebration were: Masami Kinefuchi, Consul General, Japanese Consulate-General (Nashville); Nobushisa Tanaka, Executive Advisor, Toyota Motor North America; Danny Games, Executive Vice President (Global Business), Arkansas Economic Development Commission; Mike Dempter, President, Marion Chamber; several representatives from state and local government; as well as many automotive parts suppliers and local businesspeople. Hideyuki Omata and Masamichi Mizukoshi of Hino's parent company, Hino Motors Limited (Japan), were also in attendance.
In 2013, Hino decided to locate its Toyota Business Unit operation in Marion, Arkansas, including bringing Toyota Tacoma axle and suspension products to Marion. "This was a big challenge for Hino and required much preparation," said Takashi Ono, President of Hino.
To prepare for the Tacoma project, Hino expanded its Marion plant production space by 110,000 square feet, added new office space, a cafeteria, and a training center. Over the course of two years, Hino purchased, transferred, and installed additional production equipment in Marion, and hired and trained over 300 full-time Hino Team Members to work on the Tacoma project. In January 2017, Hino, Arkansas began the production of full rear axle assemblies for the Tacoma.
In addition to Toyota Tundra axle and suspension products, suspension components for the Toyota Sequoia, stampings or Toyota Corolla, and frame rails for Class 6 and 7 Hino trucks already in production, Hino's Marion Arkansas Team Members now produce approximately 1000 Tacoma rear axle assemblies each day.
Thanking Hino Team Members, delegates from the State of Arkansas, Toyota and supplier partners, the Marion, Arkansas and local business community, and executives from Hino Japan for their support of Hino's expansion, Ono said "this is a truly great success story, and we could not have achieved this without all of you."
The Marion facility currently has approximately 563,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space. Hino's capital investment in plant and equipment, including over 550 major machines, in its Marion, Arkansas plant now exceeds $280 million – a worthwhile investment, according to Ono. "Hino's investments in the Marion plant are not only investments in physical space and equipment for the demands of today – but they are also investments in the future of Hino, Arkansas," said Ono. "Our goal is to continue to strengthen our relationship with our customer, Toyota, and to continue to flourish. And with the increasing skill level of our Team Members and our on-going commitment to produce quality products for Toyota, we think our future is very bright!"
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SOURCE Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc.