Rick Perry, current governor of Texas and former Republican presidential candidate, must have made a sweet deal with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. during a special promotional tour last year because Toyota will be moving a significant chunk of its operations to Texas once new corporate headquarters are completed in 2017.
According to a Toyota press release, Toyota will relocate some 4,000 employees across major operations in Kentucky, New York and Southern California to Plano, Texas (just north of Dallas-Fort Worth). According to some sources, the business and taxation climate in Texas will offer a huge advantage. Additionally, this will put Toyota closer to the majority of its production facilities, which are located in San Antonio, Kentucky, Indiana and Mississippi.
Nissan was lured out of California in 2005, relocating to just outside Nashville, Tenn. California is still home to Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and a dozen automotive design studios, but home to nobody that builds traditional pickups.
What impact this will have on Toyota pickup truck production at the relatively new $2.2 billion San Antonio plant is uncertain, but being relocated into the heart of pickup truck country could potentially offer Toyota designers and product planners a deeper understanding into those segment buyers.