TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) -- Toyota said Monday that it will move its U.S. headquarters from California to Texas.
Toyota will break ground this year on a new headquarters in Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Small groups of employees will start moving to temporary office space there this year, but most will not move until late 2016 or early 2017 when a new headquarters is completed.
The new campus will bring together approximately 4,000 employees from sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing and finance who are now scattered around the country. That includes 2,000 employees at the current headquarters in Torrance, Calif.; 1,000 employees at Toyota's engineering and manufacturing center in Erlanger, Ky.; and 1,000 employees at Toyota Financial Services.
Jim Lentz, Toyota's CEO for North America, said the new headquarters will enable faster decision making and better collaboration.
Toyota said it will continue to have about 2,300 employees in California and 8,200 employees in Kentucky after the moves are complete. Toyota makes the Avalon and Camry sedans in Kentucky.
The company will also maintain offices in New York and Washington. Plants in Mississippi, Texas and Indiana aren't affected by the moves.
Toyota has had a presence in California since 1957, when it opened its first U.S. headquarters in a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood. The following year — Toyota's first in the U.S. market — it sold 287 Toyopet Crown sedans and one Land Cruiser.
By 1975, Toyota had become the top import brand in the U.S. It opened its current U.S. headquarters in Torrance in 1982.
Toyota sold 2.2 million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year.
Toyota is moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Texas. The Japanese automaker announced the move Monday. It's not expected to begin until 2017.