Toyota is leaving Southern California for suburban Dallas in a move that will bring an estimated 5,000 sales and marketing jobs to Plano. The plan has not been officially confirmed by Toyota, though sources familiar with the automaker have already leaked the news to a number of media outlets.
The move is expected to begin in August and will create a new North American headquarters for the Japanese automaker, which already boasts an assembly plant in San Antonio. Reuters reports that Toyota hopes to completely move operations from Torrance, California, to Plano by the end of 2016.
Although it isn't clear if Texas Gov. Rick Perry had any direct influence on Toyota's decision to relocate, Perry has been campaigning for California businesses to move to Texas for years. He claims more than 50 Golden State companies have made plans to move to Texas since his efforts began.
According to the real estate website Trulia.com, the Lone Star State is the most popular destination for defecting Californians, with 183 residents moving to Texas for every 100 Texans who went west. Sure, sunny CA has the mountains and miles and miles of white sand beaches, but Texas' value is more quantifiable.
In addition to having a lower unemployment rate (6.1 percent compared to 9.8 percent) and a lower tax burden (9 percent compared to 11 percent), Texas homes are much cheaper than comparable casas in California. In 2012, the median home price per square foot in California was $229; the same piece of dirt in Texas would cost $84 per square foot.