Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Toyota With Toyota set to relocate its North American headquarters to the Dallas, TX suburb of Plano following a top-secret, 100-city search, the cities that missed out can now begin asking themselves what happened during a process they apparently knew little about. That’s a particularly brutal task for Charlotte, which, according to North Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce, Sharon Decker, finished second to Plano. While Toyota has been fairly open about what it was looking for in a new headquarters city – direct flights to Japan, proximity to its US production facilities, a lower cost of living, high-quality educational facilities and finding a neutral site suitable to the California, Kentucky and New York-based employees that would be relocated – it’s been less open about how the finalist cities, which also included Atlanta and Denver, stacked up against each other. The Charlotte Observer has a few ideas. Part of the problem is the distinct lack of direct flights between Charlotte and Asia. US Airways, which operates a hub at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, doesn’t fly to Asia. Toyota, for its part, seems to be placing most of the blame on location. “With manufacturing locations in many US states, Canada and Mexico, we chose a location that better supports our diverse geographic footprint, in a time zone that allows us to communicate better with most of our operations, and has direct flights to all our North American operations and Japan,” Mike Michels, Toyota’s VP of product communications, told The Observer via email. How Charlotte lost to Plano without even knowing it was dealing with Toyota originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 May 2014 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Toyota’s North American CEO Jim Lentz has already given us a rough idea of what prompted the company’s surprise move to the Dallas suburb of Plano, TX from its longstanding headquarters in Torrance, CA. A new story from The Los Angeles Times , though, delivers even more detail from Lentz on the reasoning for the move, what other cities were considered and why the company’s current host city wasn’t even in the running. Of course, one of the more popular reasons being bandied about includes the $40 million Texas was set to give the company for the move, as well as the state’s generous tax rates. According to Lentz, though, the reason Toyota chose Plano over a group of finalists made up of Atlanta, Charlotte and Denver, was far simpler than that – it was about consolidating its marketing, sales, engineering and production teams in a region that’s closer to the company’s seat of manufacturing in the south. “It doesn’t make sense to have oversight of manufacturing 2,000 miles away from where the cars were made,” Lentz told The Times. “Geography is the reason not to have our headquarters in California.” Geography isn’t the only reason, though. Toyota is aiming for a more harmonious coming together of its far-flung and disparate divisions, which is something that couldn’t be provided by moving everyone to Torrance. “We needed a neutral site,” Lentz said, pointing out that moving engineering employees based in Kentucky to Torrance could give the impression that “sales was taking over.” Lentz said a conversation with Global President Akio Toyoda kick started the idea of moving, as the company sought to organize its North American business “for the next 50 years.” As for why Plano won, there are a number of reasons, one of which was the area’s cost of living. According to The Times , the average house in the LA area costs $515,000 – in Dallas, it’s less than half that, at $217,500. Toyota also considered the climate, access to direct flights to Japan (Plano is served by the sprawling Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) and the quality of the area’s schools as factors behind Plano’s victory.
Filed under: Etc. , Toyota 2011 Toyota Tundra – Click above for high-res image gallery The product development cycle at Toyota can be frustrating. More specifically, the process can be frustrating for North American executives who don’t have total control over vehicles specifically marketed to their country. Engineers, developers and executives all have a say, but the final decisions have been made in Japan. Until now. According to a report from Automotive News , Toyota has changed its product development process for North American vehicles. An example of such a vehicle is the Toyota Tundra . That pickup caters to the desires and needs of the U.S. car-buying public, and now Toyota USA will be given the leeway needed to make sure it meets those desires and needs. The Japanese automaker says it has always listened to its U.S.