WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — Hino Motors commemorated the production of its 50,000th truck Tuesday at its Williamstown assembly plant.
Company officials, elected officials, employees and others gathered at the plant to commemorate the milestone.
Hino established the manufacturing plant in Williamstown in 2007 at the site of the former Walker plant and began production. Since then, the company has had three expansions and has seen a 30 percent increase in production the last two years. ”Production has grown so significantly over the past few years,” Plant Manager Steve Stalnaker said.
The plant now has around 275 employees which has had a major impact on the community by providing good manufacturing opportunities in the area, he said, adding the company remains dedicated to working safely and producing a quality product.
”It is also a testament to the quality product we are producing here in West Virginia,” Stalnaker said. ”Our team members are really focused and dedicated to achieving that.”
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin commended Hino and its people for making the Williamstown facility the success it is.
”This is a company that took a chance and invested in West Virginia back in 2006-2007,” Tomblin said. ”We told them what a great workforce we had, the training they had and Hino took the chance on that.
”Since then, Hino has made several expansions and now has several hundred people working here. They turned out the 50,000th truck and that is great.”
Company officials have indicated the desire to expand more, the governor said.
”That creates opportunity, not only for Wood County, but for the whole region and the state of West Virginia.”
Tomblin was present when the company commemorated the first truck coming off the assembly line.
”I was excited then, but I am even more excited now to watch the 50,000th truck roll off the assembly line,” he said. ”I am proud to say that West Virginia has the only Hino assembly plant in the United States.
”I think that speaks volumes for our business climate and speaks volumes about our workforce. I look forward to seeing their continued growth in West Virginia for decades to come.”
Yoshinori Noguchi, chairman of Hino Motors Manufacturing USA, praised the workers, called “team members,” at the plant for their dedication and hard work.
“From the very beginning, our mission was to support Hino’s growing U.S. market by building high-quality trucks for our customers,” he said. ”Williamstown team members focus on safety, quality and their commitment to continuous improvement has contributed to Hino becoming America’s fastest growing medium duty truck brand.
”West Virginia has been and will continue to be an important part of Hino’s efforts to expand production in the United States.”
Although Tuesday was meant to be a celebration of what Hino has accomplished in West Virginia, the flooding in the southern part of the state did not go unnoticed.
Company officials presented the governor with a $10,000 check to present to the West Virginia Chapter of the American Red Cross to help assist the victims of the recent flooding.
Tomblin praised the company as a “good corporate neighbor” who stepped up and asked what they could do to help.
”As we talk about the people who have been suffering from the flooding the past few days, Hino has been a great corporate citizen and presented a check that I will be presenting to the West Virginia Red Cross on behalf of Hino Motors to help those in need,” the governor said.