Professor Jacobson just asked if a Toyota can get from California to Texas on single tank of gas?

As a Californian, I would like to answer that question.

First, you need to know that California Governor Jerry Brown recently said Rick Perry’s efforts to recruit businesses to Texas are “barely a fart.”

So, if the fuel is blended with those farts, the answer is: Hell, yes!

Interestingly,Toyota has had a relatively long-term stay in California.

With its worldwide headquarters in Japan, Toyota’s U.S. operation has headquartered in Southern California for more than 50 years. Most employees affected by the move, which begins in 2016, work on a sprawling campus in Torrance.

“This is the most significant change we’ve made to our North American operations in the past 50 years, and we’re excited for what the future holds,” says Jim Lentz, Toyota’s U.S. CEO.

My question is not why Toyota is leaving, but why it took them so long to make the move. The economic advantages to both the company and its employees are quite compelling.

Forbes ranked Texas the seventh-best state for business, a measure that factored a No. 1 ranking for business climate and a 23rd-best ranking for business cost. California came in at 39th out of 50 states, with a 36th-place business climate and seventh-worst business cost.

As for employees, the cost of living is 39 percent higher in Torrance than in Plano, and housing costs are 63 percent cheaper in Plano, according to An equivalent $50,000 salary in Torrance would be $30,608 in Plano.

Plano has also ranked highly in “best places” and “safest cities” ratings conducted by CNN and Forbes.

..But Toyota already has a relationship with Texas with its $2.2 billion truck assembly complex near San Antonio. During the negotiations for the truck plant, several key Japanese Toyota executives became close with Texas state officials, a source close to Toyota said.

The relationships between state officials and company executives may have been a major factor in this decision. People tend to hang around only where they are wanted, and in California, big firms are often targeted as “evil”.

A series of articles published by the Los Angeles Times offers a glimpse into the kind of press Toyota has been receiving in this state. The car company has been dealing with accident cases involving the unintended acceleration of its vehicles.

This led to dozens of stories in the Los Angeles Times that described a series of similar cases involving Toyota and alleged a coverup of the accidents and serious problems with Toyota’s engineering and vehicle design. But there’s a gigantic problem with this story.

The case of the death of the CHP officer involved a misplaced floor mat pinning down the accelerator — not Toyota’s fault. The Prius case by all evidence appears to be a fraud by a con artist – not Toyota’s fault. And as some iconoclastic journalists pointed out as the case was unfolding, nearly all the cases involved elderly drivers who are far more prone to driver error such as hitting the wrong foot pedal.

The Texas Governor can thank California politicos and its press for the continued success of his poaching efforts.

[Featured image: US Dept of Transportation Federal Highway Administration]


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