Toyota USA might be moving its US headquarters to Texas, unconfirmed reports say. UPDATE: It was confirmed this morning by Toyota in an official press release. The move would put Toyota USA’s executives closer to its manufacturing hubs in San Antonio, Kentucky, and Mississippi. The word is that Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has been chosen.
The news broke Sunday evening on Bloomberg, leaked by sources within Toyota who did not want to be named. They say high-level employees were informed Friday and were expected to inform their subordinates this week.
Since its founding in 1957, Toyota Motor Sales USA has been located in SoCal, the nexus of American car culture. Starting from a small dealership in Hollywood to what is now a sprawling campus in Torrance, it has been a Los Angeles area fixture.
Toyota currently employs over 5,000 people in southern California. However, the fact that Texas is considered a business-friendly state with fewer taxes, fewer regulations and a lower cost of living is also being proffered as possible incentives.
Of course, this echoes Nissan USA’s 2006 move from California to Nashville, Tennessee. Only 42% of its staff decided to stay. Toyota’s expected to take at least two years to make the transition complete.
We have millions of questions right now and rumors are flying around the web like bullets in a John Woo film. Friends who work at Toyota are still reeling from the news. Our main concerns are what will happen to the Toyota USA Museum and its substantial archive. We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.