MINERAL WELLS, WV – During a Grand Opening ceremony today for Hino Motors’ new manufacturing plant in Mineral Wells, Gov. Jim Justice celebrated an announcement – made by company leaders – that they plan to invest $40 million and create 250 new jobs at the new facility.
“This moment in our state is so profound,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s an absolute honor and we will never be able to express our gratitude enough."
"All these new jobs and all this new investment is going to help make life better for so many West Virginians it's truly unbelievable," Gov. Justice said.
The announcement of the new jobs was made by Yoshio Shimo, President & CEO of Hino Motors Limited.
"Over the past two years we have invested $100 million in our US operations, including $60 million to move to this facility in Mineral Wells," Shimo said. "As part of that investment, we have grown our West Virginia team from 300 team members to 470 team members and by next year we’re expecting to be at 550."
Company leaders say the remaining new jobs will be created over the course of the next three years.
Other dignitaries in attendance for the celebratory event included Hino Motors Manufacturing President Takashi Ono and Japanese Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, among other company officials.
These new jobs come in conjunction with Hino Motors completing its move into their new 962,000-square-foot plant. The new facility is approximately four times the size of the company’s old one.
“To have you come here in 2007 and, today, grow to this level…who knows what’s to happen in the future,” Gov. Justice said. “And think about, you’re a rock’s throw from two-thirds of the population of this country. All this in West Virginia.”
The expanded space will allow Hino Motors to expand both its workforce as well as its production capacity.
In addition, the new location will allow the company to begin manufacturing a new product.
At the old plant, the company was only able to produce Class 6 and Class 7 single axle trucks. But the new facility will now allow Hino Motors to produce bigger trucks in America. They plan to enter the Class 8 commercial market and will be able to produce tandem axle trucks.
“Think about it, a completed unit can come off in just minutes,” Gov. Justice said. “Think about all the meetings, all the time, all the culmination to come to see what has happened right here.”
The Governor also participated in a ribbon-cutting and a part of the ceremony known as Kagamiwari – which is the ceremonial breaking of a sake barrel to mark a celebratory occasion.