PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - Gov. Rick Perry has made no secret of his attempt to lure big business to Texas. Now, all of that work has paid off. Toyota announced on Monday afternoon that it is moving its U.S. headquarters to Plano. Officials here in North Texas provided no comment on Monday morning, prior to an official statement from the automaker.
Bloomberg Businessweek first reported the possibility that Toyota would be leaving its current headquarters in Torrance, California. A report in the Dallas Morning News added that Toyota is working out the details to purchase an office site in the Legacy Business Park, at the intersection of the Dallas North Tollway and the Sam Rayburn Tollway.
Toyota actually plans to bring workers from three company facilities -- sales workers from Torrance; engineering and manufacturing employees from Erlanger, Kentucky; and some additional workers from New York City -- into the one Plano building. The transition is expected to begin in the summer and last around three years. More than 4,000 jobs are being relocated to North Texas.
Jim Lentz, the company's first chief executive officer, informed those workers about the move during a Monday briefing. "With our major North American business affiliates and leaders together in one location for the first time," Lentz said in a media statement, "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 and exceed their expectations."
"We are excited for what the future holds," Lentz added.
Toyota plans to construct a new campus in Plano, which breaks ground this fall. During that facility's construction, small groups of workers will be housed in temporary offices. However, it is not yet known how many current workers will actually be willing to make the move.
The automaker has a total of 10 manufacturing plants across the nation, including three primary plants in Mississippi, Kentucky and Texas. The one in Texas builds the company's Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks.
Officials in North Texas have been trying to lure companies away from a number of states including California, New York and Illinois. Perry had visited California and ran radio ads there, urging businesses to move to Texas. "Building a business is tough," Perry said. "Building a business in California is next to impossible."
Perry has been telling companies that the business climate is better in Texas. The Dallas Morning News said that Toyota plans to seek incentives from the city and the state.
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