Officials are assessing Toyota’s announcement Monday that it plans to shift a thousand Erlanger employees to a new corporate headquarters in Texas.
The decision, which caught many in business and government by surprise, has already taken on political overtones with state Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer suggesting Kentucky’s business climate may be partly to blame.
James Rubenstein, an auto analyst and professor at Miami University in Ohio, says he doubts prevailing wage or a lack of incentives played a role.
"The reason for moving to Texas really has little to do with anything in Kentucky. It's a desire on the part of Toyota to put its key people in the state that is the world's largest market for large pickup trucks," he argues.
Toyota officials say Erlanger was considered as a finalist for the headquarters, but its size and lack of proximity to a major Delta Airlines hub were considered drawbacks.
Erlanger has been the home of the company’s North American engineering and manufacturing headquarters since 1996.