Gov. Perry Lures Toyota Sales HQ to Texas from California

Image: Gov. Perry Lures Toyota Sales HQ to Texas from California

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 01:30 PM

 

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Gov. Rick Perry has scored another good jobs get for Texas, luring Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. sales headquarters to suburban Dallas from its current location in southern California.

The relocation likely will bring much of the Japanese automaker's far-flung U.S. operations under one roof, including sales, service, marketing, advertising, manufacturing and quality, the people said.

Toyota is not the first company to announce plans to leave California for Texas. In February, Occidental Petroleum Corp. said it would move from Los Angeles to Houston.

Perry has made luring businesses from other states a priority, making personal recruiting trips to sell what the Republican touts as a superior business climate, particularly lower taxes and fewer regulations.

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Perry last month visited California on a recruiting trip and last week was in New York for the second time in a year looking to lure businesses. While in Albany, New York's capital, Perry challenged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, to a debate over which of the two states had the better business climate.

"There's a real message there: More wealth left the state of New York and California than any other two states in the nation. And you have to be honest about this: It's about tax policy, it's about regulatory policy, it's about the legal system, and then it's about a skilled workforce," Perry said last week, according to The New York Observer.

Toyota has more than 5,300 California employees, most at its Torrance, Calif. campus in sales, finance, marketing, engineering and product planning.

Details on which functions will move and when may be announced as soon as today, after the employee meeting. When Nissan Motor Co. moved its North American headquarters to lower-cost Tennessee in 2006, only 42 percent of employees initially chose to relocate.

The new regional sales headquarters may be in or near Plano, Texas, said three of the people who asked not to be named as the plan isn’t yet public. The majority of Toyota’s Torrance operations may move to Texas over a two-year period, the people said.

Lucy Nashed and Felix Browne, spokesmen for Perry, didn’t respond to e-mails on the matter.

Perry, in his final year as governor, began airing radio commercials in California during his March swing through the state that highlighted its high taxes.

“A year ago, I was here, in California, encouraging companies to look to Texas for expansion and relocation,” he said in the ad, paid for by a group called Americans for Economic Freedom. “Over the past year and a half, more than 50 California companies have announced plans to expand or relocate in Texas, creating more than 14,000 jobs.”

Toyota spokeswoman Julie Hamp would not confirm the move, but confirmed employees were invited to a webcast Monday and said details would be provided at that time.

The new Texas headquarters is expected to house at least three subsidiaries, the people said, including Toyota Motor Sales USA, Toyota Financial Services and Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America.

The move will begin in August and will take place in stages through the end of 2016, they said.

Employees in Toyota's Torrance offices and other U.S. locations will be offered relocation packages and financial assistance, they said.

Toyota established operations in California in 1957.

Toyota has a truck assembly plant in San Antonio, Texas, as well as manufacturing and assembly plants in eight other states, including Kentucky, Indiana and Mississippi.

Information from Bloomberg and Reuters was used in this story.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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