Hino, the commercial vehicle manufacturing subsidiary of Toyota, is to establish its first truck assembly operation in the USA at Toyota's TABC Long Beach, California, facility.

Starting in 2004, Hino will assemble medium-size commercial panel trucks to be sold in North America. Annual production in the first year will be 4,000 units.

The Hino truck assembly operation is expected to locate in an existing area of the plant, and the company will invest approximately $3 million for equipment installation.

Hino's truck assembly will be the first vehicle assembly operation to locate in California since the Toyota/General Motors joint venture plant, NUMMI, opened in 1984.

TABC currently produces truck beds, catalytic converters, power steering columns and substrates for Toyota vehicles and employs nearly 600 people at its Long Beach plant.

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