PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Update: 9/17/2018 6:40 P.M.
It is a period of transition for Hino Motors, particularly with its new facility on the outskirts of Parkersburg nearing completion.
"We are transferring operations from our Ohio logistics center outside of Columbus," Steve Stalnaker, Senior Vice-President and Plant Manager told the Parkersburg Rotary Club Monday, "which warehouses parts and ships parts to our manufacturing facilities."
The former Coldwater Creek distribution warehouse has undergone a lot of modifications, all in preparation for Hino to manufacture a new truck line, once it begins operation in 2019.
"The new XL Series truck, which is a larger truck, we will begin production of it in January, 2019," Stalnaker says. "We will also be moving its operations at the end of the year into the new facility."
Still up in the air: the future of Hino's 11-year old Williamstown plant. Stalnaker says no decision has been made, but hints at a consolidation of manufacturing lines as early as next summer.
"At that time, we will begin to study what the disposition will be on the Williamstown plant."
He adds employment at Hino's local facilities has more than doubled during the past seven years. During the first half of 2019, more than 70 trucks will be produced at the two plants.
Update: 5/7/2018 5:47 P.M.
There are efforts to locate other, smaller businesses near the new Hino plant, due to open in 2019 at the former Coldwater Creek plant off West Virginia route 14
Lindsey Pierson, Director of the Wood County Economic Development Corporation, told the county commission Monday efforts are underway to locate smaller companies in that area, companies who would supply Hino with materials.
"I was hoping I could announce something today," Piersol said, "but it is a little behind schedule. I will say, on some of the land out there, you'll see buildings go up shortly, that's close to the plant. With that being said, we're working with another supplier right now to put them on land out that way.
Meanwhile, Piersol says a plastics recycling firm plans to locate off route 14, a few hundred feet from the Hino site.
Sterling Packaging, a plastics recycling firm, would be located near Conley Fabrication.
It's not due to be up and running for another year, but Hino Motors is well on its way to locating a new truck manufacturing plant in Wood County.
That was part of Wood County Development chief Lindsey Kerr Piersol's update to the county commission Monday morning.
Pierson says Hino has virtually cleared out the former Coldwater Creek plant on the outskirts of Parkersburg, and two related manufacturing firms already have pledged to locate in Mineral Wells.
The Hino truck facility is due to begin production in 2019.
"On March 7, Hino is going to an auto show where they're going to unveil the truck," Piersol told the commission. "We're going to try to go to (that show), and see if there's vendors and suppliers we can talk to, to see if they have any interest in coming to the park."
Piersol adds her office also is aiding in the development of the former U.S. courthouse and the Dils Building-both of which were sold to new owners in 2017.
And two companies are interested in locating to Wood County. Piersol did not name the firms or what sites they're looking at.