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Asian auto parts makers driving for South

Keywords: Tags  Hino Motors, Toyota Motor, Hyundai Dymos, Hyundai Motor, auto suppliers, Kia, new manufacturing plants, economic development assistance Arkansas Economic Development Commission

CHICAGO — Two Asian automotive suppliers will spend a combined $90 million to expand and open factories in the southern United States.

Hino Motors Manufacturing USA Inc., a wholly owned unit of Hino Motors Ltd. and the commercial truck division of Tokyo-based Toyota Motor Corp., will invest $55 million to expand its Marion, Ark., plant to increase capacity to manufacture axles, knuckles and suspension components for Toyota’s Tacoma, Tundra and Sequoia models, it said.

The company, which built its Marion plant in 2004, expects to hire up to 200 people to run the enlarged production lines.

The manufacturer’s parent company makes medium- and heavy-duty trucks in Japan, buses and diesel engines, Toyota’s FJ Cruiser and Land Cruiser Prado. In the United States, Hino assembles medium-duty trucks at its Williamstown, W.Va., plant, while its parts distribution center in Mira Loma, Calif., supplies Latin American and Caribbean distributors with Hino-built service parts.

"Hino appreciates the support it received from the city of Marion and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to help facilitate these projects," Hino general manager Ed Rowlett said in a statement Oct. 1.

Hyundai Dymos Inc., a unit of Seoul, South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Co., will invest $35 million to open a manufacturing plant in West Point, Ga., that will supply Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc. and create 350 manufacturing jobs.

The company will begin hiring in January, expects to complete construction by July and will begin normal production in November 2014.

Hyundai Dymos builds manual transmissions, axles and seats, and the Georgia plant will make seats for Kia’s new Sorento.

"The objective of this project is to further improve the competitiveness of (Kia Motors) by providing a steady and reliable supply of auto parts for (its) continually increasing production," Hyundai Dymos representative director Jun Mo Yoon said in a statement Sept. 30.

The company received assistance from the state, city of West Point, the Valley Partnership and the Development Authority of LaGrange.

"Hyundai Dymos is one of numerous Korean companies to settle in Georgia," Georgia Department of Economic Development commissioner Chris Cummiskey said.

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