WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A Toyota-owned truck manufacturer announced plans today to invest eight-point-six million dollars to open the state's first vehicle assembly plant.
Hino (HY'-noh) Motor Manufacturing officials plan to hire 80 workers at a facility in Williamstown.
The company will upgrade the former Walker Systems plant. That plant, which employed about 300 workers, closed in 2005.
Governor Manchin's office says Hino plans to begin operations at the 194-thousand-square-foot plant in November and build 25-hundred trucks a year there.
Manchin says the Wood County facility will not only be West Virginia's first vehicle assembly plant, but is also Hino Motors' first such plant in the U-S.
While Hino trucks are big sellers in Japan and Thailand, a statement from the company says it sold only about 66-hundred trucks in the United States in fiscal year 2006. The company hopes to sell more than 75-hundred in fiscal year 2007.
Japan's Toyota operates an engine and transmission plant in Buffalo, which employs 900 workers.