Toyota today said it is moving its U.S. headquarters from greater Los Angeles to the Dallas area.
The Japanese automaker says it’ll break ground this year on a new headquarters in Plano, Texas, about 25 miles north of Dallas.
The new campus will bring together about 4,000 employees from sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing and finance. And that includes 2,000 employees at the current headquarters in Torrance, and another 1,000 employees at Toyota Financial Services, also here.
It says small groups of employees will begin moving to temporary office space there this year, but most will not move until late 2016 or early 2017 when a new headquarters is completed.
Toyota says the move to Texas is intended to get closer to its Midwest assembly plants and improve communication between units now spread over several states.
An automotive consultant says Texas is a cheaper place to do business than California, which has higher corporate taxes and more onerous work rules like paid family leave.
But Toyota could be hurt by a brain drain if employees choose not to go.
Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto spoke with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis about the company’s decision.