California is a liberal hell of regulations and high taxes. So, a story like this one from the ultra-leftist Los Angeles Times should come as no surprise. (H/T ECM)
Toyota Motor Corp. plans to move large numbers of jobs from its sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance to suburban Dallas, according to a person familiar with the automaker’s plans.
The move, creating a new North American headquarters, would put management of Toyota’s U.S. business close to where it builds most cars for this market.
North American Chief Executive Jim Lentz is expected to brief employees Monday, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Toyota declined to detail its plans. About 5,300 people work at Toyota’s Torrance complex. It is unclear how many workers will be asked to move to Texas. The move is expected to take several years.
[T]oday, about 75% of the Toyota branded vehicles sold in the U.S. are built in America — many of them at plants in Texas, Mississippi and Kentucky.
Why is this happening? Here’s why:
Frank Scotto, Torrance’s mayor, said he had no warning of Toyota’s decision. He said he did know that the automaker planned a corporate announcement for Monday.
“When any major corporation is courted by another state, it’s very difficult to combat that,” Scotto said. “We don’t have the tools we need to keep major corporations here.”
The mayor said businesses bear higher costs in California for workers’ compensation and liability insurance, among other expenses.
“A company can easily see where it would benefit by relocating someplace else,” Scotto said.
Think that this is an exception? Think again:
Occidental Petroleum Corp. said in February that it was relocating from Los Angeles to Houston, making it one of around 60 companies that have moved to Texas since July 2012, according to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Perry last month visited California to recruit companies. The group Americans for Economic Freedom also recently launched a $300,000 advertising campaign in which Perry contends 50 California companies have plans to expand or relocate in Texas because it offers a better business climate.
Like these other companies, Toyota could also save money in an environment of lower business taxes, real estate prices and cost of living.
[…]Toyota isn’t the first automaker to leave Southern California. In late 2005, Nissan announced it was moving its North American headquarters from Gardena to Franklin, Tenn., just outside of Nashville. About 550 employees left for Tennessee; an additional 750 left jobs at Nissan to stay in Southern California.
“The costs of doing business in Southern California are much higher than the costs of doing business in Tennessee,” Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said at the time. He cited cheaper real estate and lower business taxes as key reasons for the move.
I know a lot of people like to write books about how bad companies like Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil are. Young people have been trained to believe that we should raise corporate taxes, raise the minimum wage and burden businesses with other costs, like health coverage for condoms. That’s what young people learn in school from government employees. But in the real world, companies respond to incentives.