Toyota’s recent decision caught everyone by surprise, most especially the mayor of Torrance, California. The Japanese carmaker recently announced that its U.S. headquarters would move from the city to the outskirts of Plano in Dallas, Texas.
In spite of the sudden pink slip the company handed the city, around 2,300 jobs will remain on the Toyota site, while the rest, around 3,000 employees from the sales, marketing, finance, engineering and manufacturing departments would all move to the new site. As construction of the new site is expected to be completed by late 2016 or early 2017, the employees will remain initially in temporary office areas that the company will set up in the new place. The transfer is one among the many reshuffles Toyota is doing with its North American facilities in an effort to be more collaborative and near each other for faster decision-making.
Toyota’s CEO for North America, Jim Lentz, said the company is taking extra measures to prepare the employees for the relocation. Retention bonus and a relocation package will be offered while those with families will also be assisted in scouting for new homes within the area in Texas. While Plano Mayor Harry LaRosilliere welcomes Toyota’s move with open arms, and admits to “courting” the carmaker into transferring with lower taxes and incentives, Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto is not so happy. Scotto, who has been struggling to keep businesses in his city, has expressed concerns that if the current trend continues, California will “turn into a place that’s a retirement community. We can’t have that.” Toyota will keep its offices in New York and Washington, while manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, Indiana and Texas will remain without any changes.