Friday, May 09, 2014

State official blasts Torrance for ‘complacency’ in losing Toyota

by  Nick Green

TORRANCE >> A South Bay representative to the state’s economic development panel has blasted the “embarrassing failure” of city officials to prevent Toyota from moving its U.S. sales and marketing headquarters to Texas and their attempts to shift the blame to their statewide counterparts.

The world’s largest auto manufacturer announced last week it would move about 3,000 jobs to Plano, Texas, consolidating manufacturing and sales operations there into one North American headquarters.

But Jonathan Kaji, who serves on the California Economic Development Commission and was part of a previous unsuccessful county effort to retain Nissan’s South Bay headquarters, criticized Torrance officials for “false and misleading” statements that they were unaware the company could leave the state.

“The city staff were fully aware of ongoing recruitment and outreach efforts,” he said in an email to the Daily Breeze. “I believe that due to complacency, arrogance, laziness and the belief that Toyota Motor Sales was ‘too big to leave,’ the city staff failed to launch a coordinated effort to retain Toyota. More here.

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