Business

North Carolina Loses Toyota to Texas

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Toyota-logoBusiness recruiters for North Carolina had offered Toyota over $100 million in incentives to be the largest automakers to move its North American headquarters to Charlotte, but still lost the bid to Texas who only bid half the amount.

Only a quarter of nearly 3,000 jobs are expected to move away from Southern California, paying an average of $105,000 per year. This means that North Carolina also lost a big opportunity for job creation according to the recruitment documents that have been released. State law requires that recruiting documents are released once a company has announced their decision, and Toyota decided on Texas four months ago.

North Carolina’s offer had to be significantly larger than Texas in order to compete for the business, since Texas can boast no state corporate or income tax, this according to Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker last week. Companies looking to move look at the total cost of a new site and the overall financial package being offered to them.

A spokesman for Toyota, Mike Michels, said in an email statement, “Incentives were just one of many considerations.” According to the statement they also looked at geography, cost of living, transportation, and educational opportunities.

Michels adds, “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 operations.”

One of the key factors in choosing the new location was the availability of direct flights to Japan. Toyota executive travel to and from Asia at least a hundred times a year, and Charlotte Douglas International Airport has no direct flights. The new location in Plano, Texas is close to Dallas/Fort Worth airport and has direct flights to Tokyo with American Airlines.

Decker pointed out, “It just underscores it’s not just about incentives.”

The new headquarters will bring together around 2,900 employees and another 1,000 contract employees from marketing, sales, manufacturing, engineering and finance. The search for Toyota’s next headquarters started with a list of over 100 possibilities and was trimmed down to four this past April. The final locations were visited, but Toyota’s CEO, Jim Lentz, said that the Dallas metro area was by far the best pick.

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