Toyota exec: Vendors don't have to move to Texas

Toyota's Hollis: Vendors are not required to move, “but as partners they have to decide how they best can serve us.”
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LAS VEGAS -- Vendors such as advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles and experiential marketing firm George P. Johnson will "have to decide for themselves" whether to move employees or set up offices near Toyota's new Plano, Texas, headquarters, Toyota's top marketing executive said.

"There is no mandate" for vendors to move, said Jack Hollis, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s vice president of marketing, "but as partners they have to decide how they best can serve us."

He added: "'Come with us' doesn't have to mean physically. We won't dictate that."

Hollis, speaking at the unveiling of the TRD Pro Series accessories line here, said vendors have plenty of time to decide.

Toyota's setup team will move next year, but most employees will move in late 2016 or early 2017, the automaker said.

By contrast, "With a lot of my field moves, I had seven to 10 days' notice," Hollis said. "Sometimes I'd find out on a Thursday that I had to be in a new city on Monday."

For now, Hollis said, vendors and employees need to stay centered on day-to-day business.

"There's still a lot to be done. We need to focus on 'Let's Go Places' and how Toyota is represented in its marketing," Hollis said. (See Q&A on Page 37.)

He said the new structure of Toyota's marketing department will remain in place after the move, though some "minor tweaks" might be needed if some employees don't move to Texas.

Hollis said: "People are secure in their new jobs and are secure in the rules of engagement."

You can reach Mark Rechtin at mrechtin@crain.com. -- Follow Mark on Twitter


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