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Toyota heads to Texas

Toyota headquarters in Torrance, CA.
Toyota headquarters in Torrance, CA.

Toyota has announced that it will be moving its US headquarters from Torrance, CA to a new “environmentally friendly” facility in Plano, TX. The expanded campus will be home to more than 4,000 employees including 3,000 people from its sales and marketing divisions in California, as well as 1,000 engineering, manufacturing employees from the company’s center in Erlanger, KY. The move is designed to bring Toyota’s corporate operations “closer to its Midwest assembly plants s well as improve communications between its units,” in various states. 2,300 will remain in the Golden State, however.

Toyota Motor Corp. has been a fixture in for the past 57 years, ever since 1957 when it founded its first US headquarters in a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood. Within a year, the company it sold 287 Toyopet Crown sedans and one Land Cruiser to American consumers.

According to Jim Lentz, Toyota's CEO for North America, “the new headquarters will enable faster decision making.” He also told The Associated Press that the move is “one of the most significant changes in Toyota's 57-year history in the United States.”

In the meantime, Toyota is making plans to expand its technical center near Ann Arbor, MI, including transferring approximately 250 parts procurement positions from Georgetown, KY ( where its Camry and Avalon sedans are assembled) there, while sending about 300 production engineers from Erlanger, Kentucky, to Georgetown. Once the move is completed, Toyota will have 8,200 employees in Kentucky.

Note: Toyota’s move to Texas is seen as part of a migration of major corporations, including Occidental Petroleum, Cigna Corp., Frito Lay and Hewlett Packard, among others, who have been courted by Governor Rick Perry, who has been touting his state as the “land of opportunity,” by offering them lower taxes and less severe government regulations.