Toyota Is Coming to Plano?

 

Toyota’s North American arm took another step in its migration to Plano,Texas, today, unveiling architectural renderings of a headquarters campus that will house some 4,000 employees and consolidate divisions now scattered among sites in California, Kentucky and New York.

The site depicted in the renderings consists of seven airy office buildings clad mainly in glass and arranged around a central plaza of open-air and glass-enclosed spaces that Toyota said are designed to inspire transparency and interaction among workers.

The designs were developed by Corgan Associates, a Dallas-based firm whose projects have included major airport terminals, hospitals and schools as well as several other corporate headquarters buildings in the Dallas area. In March, Toyota selected Dallas-based Austin Commercial as general contractor in charge of developing the site. Construction on the 2.1-million-square-foot campus is expected to be finished by early 2017.

“Bringing our team members together at this striking and inspiring new campus in Plano will help Toyota become a more cohesive, collaborative and innovative company,” Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor’s North America region, said in a statement.

First wave

Toyota announced in April 2014 that it would uproot its North American headquarters from its longtime home in Southern California as part of a broader reorganization meant to improve efficiency and foster collaboration among its sales, marketing and manufacturing divisions.

Toyota’s finance arm also is moving to Plano, while engineering and product-development operations will be consolidated at the Toyota Technical Center near Ann Arbor, Mich.

Lentz, a 33-year Toyota veteran who spearheaded the decision to reorganize at a new headquarters, with the blessing of Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, was part of the first wave of employees who set up in temporary offices in Plano. The rest will come in subsequent waves, with the bulk of them arriving from the Torrance, Calif., location and Toyota’s Erlanger, Ky., manufacturing headquarters by the end of 2017.

It’s far from clear how many staffers will decide to move, as many await word on what jobs will be available to them.

Toyota said the Plano operations will house 4,000 employees -- plus as many as 1,000 contractors -- and it has pledged to accommodate all those who wish to move, offering generous incentives to stay with the company and relocation packages to ease their transition. But it has said that given the consolidation of various redundant operations, not all employees will be able to retain their current job duties.

“Each individual will know exactly what their job is going to be in Plano before they make a decision to come or not,” Lentz told Automotive News last month. “It could be a different job.”

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