LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. and its related operations will not follow Nissan North America Inc. out of Los Angeles.
In a recent letter to employees, Jim Press, president of Toyota in America, wrote, "I want to assure you that Toyota has no intention of relocating our operations to another area.
"Instead of reducing our operations here, we have been building for the future. We believe we are well-positioned here in southern California."
Toyota has about 3,370 employees in southern California, including the U.S. headquarters for its sales, marketing, finance, racing and design operations. It also has a parts logistics operations based in Ontario, Calif., and a minor manufacturing presence in Long Beach. Toyota estimates it has invested about $1 billion in the region.
Toyota's Torrance campus occupies 2 million square feet of building space on 130 acres. Toyota owns much of that real estate, a spokesman said.
In 2003, Toyota opened an adjoining "South Campus" that houses Toyota Financial Services and other operations. When the campus opened, the city of Torrance renamed the abutting 195th Street to Toyota Way.
Nissan North America, by comparison, has about 1,300 Los Angeles jobs moving to Tennessee.
Nissan executives said the lower cost of doing business, cheaper living expenses and less traffic were key reasons for the move.
As few as 30 percent to as many as 70 percent of Nissan employees will make the move next summer, according to unofficial estimates. Executives from other southern California automakers report being flooded with resumes from Nissan staffers.
Several Toyota executives are privately shaking their heads at what they consider a shortsighted move by Nissan.
Toyota would never consider leaving California because of its importance in retail sales and in creating the cutting-edge of American culture, a Toyota executive said. The executive was granted anonymity to avoid openly criticizing a competitor.
Toyota could post a big one-time gain by selling its campuses in L.A.'s superheated real estate market. But, the executive said, those gains would be nullified by the loss of valuable employees and insight into trends.