Toyota to move US operations to Texas

Toyota unveiled Monday an overhaul of its far-flung US operations into a single, new headquarters in Texas, with California set to lose the most jobs.

The world’s top automaker said that by 2017 most of its North American operations will have been relocated to a single campus in Plano, a suburb north of Dallas.

Toyota currently has three separate North American headquarters — one for manufacturing, one for sales and marketing and one for corporate operations.

“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,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive for Toyota’s North America region, in a statement.

Lentz said the consolidation of the region’s business affiliates and leaders in one location would bring a host of benefits, including speedier decision-making and improvement in best practices.

“Ultimately, enabling greater collaboration and efficiencies across Toyota will help us become a more dynamic, innovative and successful organization in North America,” he said.

The moves from the three current hubs will affect about 4,000 employees and will begin with small groups in the coming months. Most employees will not move until the construction of the new headquarters is completed, estimated in late 2016 or early 2017.

The move to Plano will affect 2,000 employees at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, in Torrance, California; 1,000 employees at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. in Erlanger, Kentucky; and certain employees at Toyota Motor North America in New York City.

A move for Toyota Financial Services, based in Torrance, was not planned until 2017, affecting 1,000 employees.

The automaker, which supports non-profits and community organizations in California and Kentucky, pledged to provide $10 million in continued funding over a five-year period beginning in 2017 “over and above existing commitments.”

After the moves, Toyota will continue to have 2,300 employees in California and 8,200 employees in Kentucky.

Toyota said its 10 manufacturing plants in the US would not be impacted by the changes. But it said a number of other units would not be affected “at this time” — including operating units in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and distribution centers.


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