A Toyota relocation announcement could come any day. Many major media outlets say Toyota is set to move significant portions of its U.S. operations from their current location of Torrance, CA to suburban Dallas. Toyota employees are expected to be made aware of the move today.
This announcement is a major blow to California, currently the largest auto market in the country – and also the strongest proponent of environmentally friendly vehicles. It is rumored that most of those making the Toyota relocation move would come from the sales and marketing departments.
Those Affected by Toyota Relocation
How many employees will decide to make the move? When Nissan relocated their corporate facilities in 2006 to Tennessee, only 42% opted to relocate with the company. (Of course, this news comes on the heels of an already-announced restructuring of the Torrance facility. Some Toyota employees will be given different jobs within the company, while others will be offered a “voluntary exit program” they can choose to use if they wish. Toyota currently employs more than 5,300 in their California facility, but at this time it isn’t clear how many will be asked to relocate.
Why is the Toyota relocation being made? Mostly because it will save Toyota big dollars in production costs. Texas Governor Rick Perry has made a number of trips to the Golden State in recent years in an attempt to coax major companies to relocate to his state. His theme was to promise them lower taxes and easier regulations … and this time, it appears to have worked.
Toyota first made its way to California in 1957. Last year, it made a record $18.3 billion of income, but this was offset by $1.2 billion in fines it must pay to settle the recent U.S. Justice Department investigation. All told, Toyota sold 2.24 million cars and light trucks last year, not far off the 2007 record of 2.62 million.