PLANO, Texas — Five years ago this month, Toyota sprung a $1 billion surprise on the auto industry and economic development officials across the U.S.: The North American arm of one of the world's largest automakers would strike its historic tent in Southern California and move to a palace near Dallas.
The whole thing was a secret to all but a handful of high-ranking Toyota officials who had been on a yearlong scouting team. The happiness — and productivity — of thousands of Toyota employees and their families hung in the balance before the announcement, as did the company's culture.
The Dallas area won. But who lost? And why?
The answers reveal what's important in choosing a centralized U.S. location for a large-scale auto industry corporate project.