In a move Toyota says “will better serve customers and position Toyota for sustainable, long-term growth,” the Japanese automaker will consolidate its various U.S. headquarters into a single campus in Plano, Texas, according to press release posted on the company’s website earlier today.
The transition to the new headquarters, which will be completed in late 2016 or early 2017, affects multiple major components of the North American branch of the company, including the manufacturing, sales and marketing, finance, and corporate operations divisions. Toyota estimates that 4,000 employees will be affected.
Jim Lentz, Toyota’s chief executive officer in the North America Region, said, “This is the most significant change we’ve made to our North American operations in the past 50 years, and we are excited for what the future holds.”
He added, “With our major North American business affiliates and leaders together in one location for the first time, we will be better equipped to speed decision making, share best practices, and leverage the combined strength of our employees. This, in turn, will strengthen our ability to put customers first and to continue making great products that exceed their expectations.”
Texas has offered Toyota $40 million for relocating their headquarters to Plano through the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund, according to CNN Money.
The move is another hit to the automaker industry in California, as at one point in time, all three major Japanese manufacturers—Honda, Nissan, and Toyota—had their U.S. headquarters in California. Once Toyota leaves, only Honda will remain.
In its press release, Toyota announced that it is giving a $10 million philanthropic commitment to “provide continued funding for local non-profits and community organizations in [Kentucky and California] over a five-year period beginning in 2017, over and above existing commitments.”
Ultimately, 3,000 of the 5,300 jobs Toyota has in California will be moved to Texas. 1,000 of the jobs Toyota has in Kentucky will be moved to the new headquarters. In the interim, current employees of Toyota affected by the move will have to decide whether to stay with Toyota or seek jobs with other companies in the area in which they currently live.
“You can bet a lot of folks at Toyota’s headquarters right now are trying to keep their eyes on the business ball, while at the same time their personal lives have just received a sizable jolt,” Karl Brauer, senior analyst with the automotive Web site KBB.com, told CNN Money.
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