Toyota is heading for greener pastures in yet another sign of California's unfortunate demise. Gathering up their jobs and long history of success, Toyota, based in the Southern California city of Torrance, is heading east to Texas.
While "Heading out West" used to equate with hope and opportunity, companies such as Toyota are finding it more and more difficult to do business in the highly taxed, highly regulated, once golden state. Other companies Toyota is following out of California include fellow automakers Nissan, who picked up shop and moved to Tennessee, and Honda who, relocated their headquarters from California to Ohio.
Texas Governor, Rick Perry, was clicking his heals and reportedly quite pleased with Toyota's decision to leave company-crippling-California and its Governor, Jerry Brown, behind. Toyota is already successfully building vehicles in San Antonio, and Perry reportedly wooed Toyota, obviously successfully, into making their headquarters in his state too:
"Over the past decade, Texas and Toyota have developed a strong partnership that has resulted in good-paying jobs for thousands of Texans," said Perry in a statement. "Toyota understands that Texas' employer-friendly combination of low taxes, fair courts, smart regulations and world-class workforce can help businesses of any size succeed and thrive."Meanwhile, California Gov. Jerry Brown's Office of Business and Economic Development shied away from even mentioning Toyota in a statement, instead throwing up a smoke screen of manufactured optimism:
"Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan continue to invest in California, and the Golden State remains the center of new electric, zero-emission and self-driving vehicle manufacturing and technology," the statement said.
Back in reality, however, his frustration and impotence evident, was Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, who said he's "saddened" by Toyota leaving his city and that they did everything they could to keep Toyota from leaving them.
According to Scotto, he didn't even know Toyota's move was afoot until they told him on Thursday that they wanted to meet him at 9:45 a.m. Monday, and even then he didn't know what it was about.
But then rumors of Toyota's intentions started bubbling over the weekend which got Scotto's "Oh no!" alarms ringing.
"We thought it was going to be part of Toyota, not everything," Scotto reflected at a press conference. "They didn't mislead us; they just didn't answer the questions."
Scotto also lamented that there wasn't much Torrance could do to stop Toyota from divorcing them because it really came down to reforms California needs to make at the state level to keep large companies like Toyota from vacating their premises.
"We could offer up a lot of things, but we recognize that the deal (Toyota has) is something that would take the state of California to match," he said.
Toyota will be leaving California's suffocating business climate for the sweet low-tax prairie winds of Texas in 2017.