WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Workers at the new Hino Motors plant in Williamstown are scheduled to begin tearing down trucks and rebuilding them next week for practice.
If all goes as planned, General Manager Joe Chronley said Monday that full production should begin Nov. 19.
''Everything is on schedule,'' Chronley said.
The initial training will be done on a temporary assembly line until equipment installation is complete, he said. Practice sessions should be converted to the actual assembly line in late October.
Since announcing plans in late June to invest $8.6 million in the former Walker Systems complex in Williamstown, the company has hired 16 salaried employees and 52 hourly workers, Chronley said. Another seven hired as quality technicians are to report to work on Sept. 17.
The company also brought in about 30 people to assist with training through late November, he said.
More than 4,000 people applied for the 75 jobs at the plant, which expects to assemble 2,500 trucks a year.
Hino, owned by the Toyota Group, is a relatively small player in the American commercial truck market. A statement from the company says it sold 6,595 trucks in the United States in fiscal year 2006.
However, Hino is growing, having increased sales by 39 percent from 2005 to 2006. The company hopes to sell 7,550 trucks in fiscal year 2007.