Toyota is packing up shop and heading south. The auto company announced Monday it's moving most of its North American operations to Texas.
The move will consolidate about 4,000 sales, finance, and engineering jobs from Toyota headquarters in California, Kentucky, and New York to an as-yet unbuilt campus in Plano. The company's North America CEO Jim Lentz called the move "the most significant change we’ve made to our North American operations in the past 50 years."
The shift, which is expected to take about 3 years, places Toyota's administrative staff closer to their manufacturing plant in Texas. The company has offered relocation packages to any employee who wants to move with the company.
The announcement is a big win for Texas governor Rick Perry, whose Texas Enterprise Fund offered Toyota $40 million to pull up stakes. Perry's office credited the move to "Texas' employer-friendly combination of low taxes, fair courts, smart regulations and world-class workforce." (Via Politico)
By contrast, the city of Torrance, California is expected to be hit the hardest by the move, losing about 3,000 jobs in the process. Torrance's mayor told reporters they'd done everything to keep Toyota, but couldn't compete with Texas' offer. (Via KABC)
And as Fox Business points out, it's not hard to see why Toyota likely found Texas far more attractive then California.
"You've got tons of taxes, tons of regulations, why wouldn't you move? ... Cost of living, cost of business, all cheaper — I mean, it just makes economic sense."
California's Republican gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kaskari used Toyota's announcement to slam the state's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, calling it "the latest consequence of Gov. Brown's continued failure to support California job creators." (Via Los Angeles Times)
And KCAL reports Brown hit back Monday, obliquely referring to businesses moving out of state at an event in Lancaster.
"We have lots of little burdens and regulations and taxes. But smart people figure out how to make it. And as I always say, you get what you pay for."
Toyota expects to start construction on its new campus this fall.