Hino Motors Manufacturing USA has officially started production of Toyota Tacoma rear axles and front knuckle assemblies in Arkansas.

In 2013, Hino decided to locate its Toyota Business Unit operation in Marion, transferring Tacoma parts production there.

"This was a big challenge for Hino and required much preparation," said Takashi Ono, president of Hino. 

Hino expanded plant production space by 110,000 square feet, added new office space, a cafeteria, and a training centre.  Over the course of two years, it purchased, transferred, and installed additional production equipment in Marion, and hired and trained 300 full-time workers for the Tacoma project.

Production of full rear axle assemblies began last January. 

Suspension components for the Sequoia, stampings for Corolla and frame rails for Class 6 and 7 Hino trucks are already in production. The Marion plant now produces 1,000 Tacoma rear axle assemblies a day.

Hino's capital investment in plant and equipment, including over 550 major machines, at Marion is now around $280m.