Toyota To Leave Erlanger; 1,600 Jobs Relocating
By Mike Perleberg
(Erlanger, Ky.) – A reorganization of U.S. operations will see Toyota Motor Corporation relocate its North American engineering and manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky, affecting hundreds of area employees.
Toyota made the announcement Monday for a new headquarters in Plano, Texas. That new headquarters will house about 4,000 employees handling marketing, manufacturing, and finance operations.
Meanwhile, most of the 1,550 jobs in Erlanger will be relocated to Texas. About 300 more engineers in Erlanger will move to a new facility at Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. Another 250 local positions will transfer to Michigan.
The move to Plano should be complete by late 2016 or early 2017, Toyota said.
The auto manufacturer is pursuing a “One Toyota” vision sustainable long-term growth. The Wall Street Journal reported that the sweeping reorganization is part of a larger effort to cut costs and run its North American business as a cohesive operation.
“With our major North American business affiliates and leaders together in one location for the first time, we will be better equipped to speed decision making, share best practices, and leverage the combined strength of our employees. This, in turn, will strengthen our ability to put customers first and to continue making great products that exceed their expectations,” said Toyota North America chief executive officer Jim Lentz.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear released a statement that his office is extremely disappointed by Toyota’s decision.
“We would have welcomed the opportunity to discuss options with Toyota, but we will now turn our attention to preparing for this transition,” Beshear said. “We also are disappointed that the lives of hundreds of Kentuckians will be disrupted, and we pledge to assist those families however we possibly can. This transition will take two to three years to achieve, and Toyota has assured us that the company plans to offer industry-leading programs and packages to its people.
In support of the communities Kentucky as well as affected operations in California, Toyota also announced a $10 million philanthropic commitment to provide continued funding for local non-profits and community organizations in these states over a five-year period beginning in 2017, over and above existing commitments.
With Toyota continuing to operate in Georgetown, Kentucky and the Erlanger employees transferring there, the company will continue to employ 8,200 people in the bluegrass state.
Toyota began operations at the 42 acres site and 260,000 square feet office and engineering facility in Erlanger in 1996.