The music stopped, and Nissan and Infiniti moved to Franklin, Tenn.
The music stops again, and Toyota is moving to Plano, Texas.
Once more the music stops, and Cadillac is moving its headquarters from Detroit to the Big Apple.
Once Toyota is gone, that leaves Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi and the Korean automakers to fight it out in Southern California.
No one is sure whether Chrysler has moved to London or Amsterdam or moved at all -- only that it is now Italian, maybe.
It's as if something magical happens when you move, as if everything is churned up and everyone is re-energized.
Toyota seems to have the most valid reason. It's puzzling why California is so unfriendly to automakers and auto dealers. It's a big place, and autos are a big business, but there is little or no acknowledgement by California politicians of how important the automobile is to the economy. I guess they'll figure it out after Toyota has left.
Why car companies are headquartered where they are in the U.S. seems obscure. Many European imports ended up in New Jersey near their first port decades ago. Most Japanese and Koreans started in Southern California near their first U.S. port, too.
There appears to be more science in selecting sites for assembly plants. At least that's the way it is supposed to work. But many plant site selections have been swayed by huge amounts of public cash that convinced manufacturers to choose particular sites over others.
There are good financial reasons behind many headquarters moves, but not always. It's still hard to fathom why Porsche once moved its U.S. headquarters to Reno, Nev. And folks, including some dealers and employees, are scratching their heads over Cadillac's recent decision to shift to New York City.
We're not done with moving headquarters. If it made sense for Nissan and Toyota, you can't help but wonder whether Honda also will depart California.
Relocations are a normal part of doing business, but it is costly to uproot and transplant employees, and it's emotionally difficult for them and their families.
I have no idea which company will be next, but it won't be long before the music stops again and another one moves on.