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Will Toyota lose up to 70% of its workforce in TX relocation?

Mon, 17 Nov 2014

Toyota's decision to move its US headquarters from its longtime home in Torrance, CA, to Plano, TX, was one of the biggest stories in the automotive industry this spring. With several months since the announcement, more details about the plan have leaked out. It seems that pulling up stakes could mean an even larger shakeup in the Toyota workforce than first thought.

According to Automotive News, Toyota intends to hang onto around 50 percent of its workforce in the move to the Lone Star State. However, even that figure might be optimistic. According to an unnamed insider speaking to AN, there is a fear the actual number could be closer to 30 percent. For comparison, Nissan retained about 42 percent of its workers in its move from California to Tennessee.

The actual percentage making the move is a mystery because Toyota is still rewriting its job descriptions under a single set of guidelines. The changes affect benefits, bonuses and the reporting structure, according to Automotive News, and employees' reactions could play a big role in who decides to go. According to an unnamed worker speaking to AN, the wait is hurting morale. Some people are even applying at the nearby Honda headquarters.

Toyota is working hard to convince people to stay with the company. It's offering lump sums for those who make the move, helping them find housing in Texas and also giving bonuses to those who stay until their department is moved. The automaker has even sent employees to Plano on paid trips to check things out.

The new headquarters is set to officially open in late 2017 with workers arriving in phases. The site consolidates the manufacturing, sales, marketing, and financial services divisions into a single location. Not only does it put Toyota closer to its factories in the south, but the company is also receiving an estimated $40 million in incentives from the state, plus another $6.75 million from the city.

By Chris Bruce

See also: Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell coming to US Northeast in 2016, Manga stylized Toyota Aygo takes on Godzilla, Scion reveals iM concept ahead of LA debut.