TORRANCE, Los Angeles County(KCBS)— Toyota’s announcement this week that it’s moving roughly 3,000 sales and finance jobs from Southern California to Texas must be music to Governor Rick Perry’s ears.
The Japanese automaker is picking up from its U.S. headquarters in Torrance and is headed for Plano, a suburb of Dallas. The move has some questioning California’s business climate and its ability to compete with Texas for jobs.
“No matter how our governor’s office [Jerry Brown] tries to spin this, it’s a blow. It’s a particular blow for Torrance. Toyota and Torrance were synonymous since the 70s when they moved here,” said Bob Gardner, founder and president of The Advocacy Group, a San Francisco based firm specializing in corporate, crisis and political communications.
Gardner said 3,000 jobs doesn’t sound like a lot in a huge state in California, but that it’s really more the psychological damage that will be done.
Factors like tax breaks and the hospitality provided in the Lone-Star State must be weighted in to a situation like this according to Gardner.
“Texas is a low-tax, business-friendly state,” he said. By comparison California has a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get things going, especially in the field of manufacturing, he added.
There are other places Toyota could have gone to since they’re consolidating. Gardner said the manufacturer is dropping jobs in Kentucky as well to move to their more centrally-located spot in the U.S.
Industry analysts have said Toyota is looking to research the buying the habit of truck owners, but Gardner dismissed that as nonsense.