On Tuesday, Toyota will break ground on its new North American headquarters in Plano. Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz is celebrating the launch of the project by pretending that Texas' outsize corporate incentives had no influence on the company's relocation.
In an interview at the North American International Auto Show with Dallas Morning News auto writer Terry Box, Lentz lists exactly two reasons for Toyota's move: to consolidate its far-flung operations, currently spread between California, Kentucky and New York, and to lure young workers. Box writes, "He also figured, though, that the layout of Toyota's U.S. offices just wasn't conducive to the sort of collaborative environment that young workers want."
Both points are probably true to a degree, but it seems worth somebody (oh, we dunno, a newspaper reporter) mentioning a few other points that might have tipped the scales for Toyota. For example:
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- $40 million in economic handouts from the Texas Enterprise Fund, i.e. more than 10 percent of Toyota's expected investment in the headquarters and $10,000 for every job being moved to Plano.
- $6.75 million in grants from the city of Plano, plus an additional $8.5 million or so in tax breaks.
- Lower taxes, and not just corporate levies. For an executive like Lentz, avoiding California's double-digit state income tax on high earners amounts to a 12 to 13 percent raise.
That said, we're sure all those young workers are going to love West Plano.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.