Toyota to move U.S. sales HQ to Texas (Long Beach to suffer? 3rd Update)

UPDATE #3 We have been told that Toyota is moving out of California for the same reason Honda did (to Ohio). The anti business climate in California is not going over very well with the Japanese automakers. The tax and spend California government has managed to drive business out of the state and put workers on the unemployment line. They are following in the footsteps of Detroit. They taxed business and rich people so much they left. The only thing left in Detroit are the freeloaders who live off government handouts, so the city went bankrupt. Meanwhile the gap between the richest people and the low and middle income classes in the USA is the biggest it has ever been. Only 43% of the adults in the USA have a fulltime job of 30 hours per week or more. Less that 40% have a 40-hour per week job. Employment is at a 30-year low. And you wonder why race attendance is down? People cannot afford to buy race tickets and travel to races.

04/30/14 A paragraph from yesterday’s LA Times.
"The car company will keep about 2,300 workers in California at its design studio in Newport Beach, a motor-racing division in Costa Mesa, a parts factory in Long Beach and at other facilities. But no Toyota workers will remain at the company's 2-million-square-foot office complex in Torrance. The company said it has not yet determined what it will do with the property."

04/29/14 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Toyota Motor Corp. will combine and consolidate its far-flung U.S. operations into a single campus in Plano, Texas, with a targeted move-in completion date of late 2017, the automaker said today.

Following a week of rumor regarding the relocation of Toyota’s sales and marketing operations based near Los Angeles came confirmation of a much larger-scale relocation of nearly all Toyota’s North American processes and operations to the suburb north of Dallas.

The move will affect 2,000 positions at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., in Torrance, Calif., 1,000 employees of Toyota Financial Services, in Torrance; 1,000 employees of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America in Erlanger, Ky.; and some employees of Toyota Motor North America based in New York, the automaker said in a statement.

Ultimately, about 4,000 employees will be based in Plano.

The only operation that is not relocating is the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which is in its own growth mode and will absorb the direct-procurement duties from TEMA’s Kentucky operations.

In an address to employees, Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said: "Currently, we’re operating as multiple affiliates in a connected-but-independent way. In other words, we still have silos, and that’s slowing our decision-making processes. Our goal is to become not a group of dedicated affiliates, but one company — One Toyota."

Lentz added: "Many roles will transfer, unchanged, to the new locations. Some new roles will be created, while others may evolve to meet the changing needs of the new organization."

The move was announced to a small, stunned group of Toyota executives during a hastily scheduled lunchtime meeting Friday. The rest of the staff was notified Monday morning.

As part of the relocation plans, Toyota will offer all full-time employees and their spouses an expenses-paid site visit to Plano, as well as a lump-sum relocation payment should they choose to relocate, a Toyota official said.

“We’re looking at bringing together, for the first time in our 57-year history, four headquarters affiliates into one unified North American team," said Julie Hamp, Toyota’s chief communications officer. “We believe the advantages will be better for our customers and dealers, the career development for our associates, and allow us to vastly increase our ability to compete."

04/27/14 [Editor's Note: We wonder what longterm affect this will have on Toyota's support of the Long Beach GP.] After 57 years of being headquartered in the trend-setting Los Angeles area, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. is moving its sales and marketing headquarters to Plano, Texas, sources close to the matter said.

The move will occur in stages and take two years to complete, the people said. The move will involve most of Toyota's 5,000 Torrance-based headquarters management and employees, several Toyota insiders said.

The transition was announced to a small group of Toyota executives on Friday, and the rest of the staff will be notified tomorrow, the sources said.

Toyota chief spokeswoman Julie Hamp declined to comment on the matter, calling it “rumor and speculation."

Calls and e-mails to Plano city officials were not returned.

The move would mark the second time a Japanese automaker has left the California headquarters where U.S. sales operations were established in the 1950s. Nissan North America relocated to Nashville, Tenn., in 2006.

Earlier, people familiar with Toyota’s plans had said the automaker had been expected to announce details of a change in its marketing operations on Monday. The headquarters announcement would dwarf that shift.

An overhaul was expected to go into effect on May 1, Automotive News reported in February. That report said 80 employees would be required to reapply for newly created positions or take a voluntary separation from the automaker.

In February, Toyota said employee roles and responsibilities were being redefined to be more "integrated, flexible and efficient."

The automaker said the changes were necessary "in order to meet our future business needs, and support our dealers and guests more effectively."

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