LITTLE TOKYO INC.: Torrance Loses Toyota Motor Sales (1957-2017) –…

6 мая 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota 1957 Sports

LITTLE TOKYO INC. Loses Toyota Motor (1957-2017)

By JONATHAN KAJI

On I attended the news conference organized by the City of Torrance at Hall.

In front of a crowd of and print reporters, along city staff and curious the mayor of Torrance, Frank related to the press that the only first learned of plans to leave for Texas past weekend.

Following the conference, I called on my parents, who now in a Torrance senior community, and to them about Toyota’s

Back in 1957, Bruce had a accounting practice based in Tokyo. He received a call the Japanese Consulate. “Kaji-san, you be interested in serving as the accountant for a from Japan?” the consul “The company needs an who is bilingual and we would like to you.”

That company out to be Toyota.

Toyota became of the of many Japanese companies decided to establish their American operations in Los Angeles. The insurance, securities and trading maintained offices in Little while the electronics, shipping and companies took up residence in the Bay.

Torrance Mayor Frank

Of course, for many of us in the Nikkei the reasons were obvious; the Japanese companies needed staff and mid-level executives to them to understand the American and steer through the maze of and regulations. The Nikkei institutions a friendly environment for the “chuzai-in” expatriate families to find food, newspapers, cultural and institutions, and social support.

For of the Japanese, and Nikkei, it was not always a relationship between the “FOBs” and the Nikkei. But, over a level of respect resulted as relationships eventually turned to

Fast-forward to 1994. I was sitting in my monthly meeting of the American Office Association, held at Vic’s in the Hotel New Otani in The members were composed of the American state and regional offices based in Japan. As it was a friendly group of sales-type both Americans and Japanese. I was the of California office director. So, in the order of states, California was #1.

But the surface of our group camaraderie, was an intense level of competition my fellow state representatives. We all in Japan for the same reason: to attract new corporate investment or to companies to leave one state for the grass of another locale.

I remember meeting Mrs. Shirane, the State of Texas advisor. Shirane-san is a petite many years my senior. But I learned that her level of back in Texas and in Japan maiden name is Mitsui) her a very formidable competitor.

you are very fortunate to represent she quipped.  How can any of our states with the Golden State?” Hmmm, I Was Shirane-san serving up a big heaping of Texas BBQ covered in sarcasm?

Our “secret weapon” was our extensive of former California expatriates in the organized “California-kai” that we throughout Japan. The network us with a great source of intelligence that gave us a big when we had to go head-to-head in competitions other states.

Today, on the side and watching the mayor on the volley of questions fired by the there was one comment that was telling. “When we met with and asked them if they satisfied, they always they were.”

I was part of Los Angeles County’s to keep Nissan Motors in We found out that the State of had already crafted a killer for Nissan. Tax incentives, relocation land. For L.A. County, too too late.

Following the loss of from Gardena, it was obvious the ultimate big score for any state be to bag Toyota Motor Sales Everyone in the City of Torrance, the of Los Angeles and the State of California was of the regular “raiding parties” by other states. States run advertisements in California urging to relocate.

Toyota 1957 Sports

But in the universe of targets, TMS is the grail,” a perfect “10″ a high job count, tax-revenue plus all the associated parts and contractors.

Toss in the “multiplier of both company and employee in the local community, sales tax positive bond ratings, occupancy, meetings, catering, real estate sales, and it’s easy to see that a TMS a multi-billion-dollar contribution.

What could the state done differently to keep and Toyota? I was reminded of a lesson I in Japanese hospitality that what the guest needs.

The level of service I’ve experienced was in a small, intimate in Akasaka. From the “irrashaimase,” to greeted by the owner and his wife, the the dishes all perfectly presented and to having my shoes carefully in the genkan pointed towards the and having the waitress help my coat, I clearly remember I did not have to “ask” for anything. My question or need was clearly and anticipated by the staff.

By extension, it be poor form for Toyota, as a company, to openly complain. from a Japanese perspective, it be absolutely expected that state and local government if they were paying to the competition, would anticipate incentives were being before Toyota and to respond the company needed to complain.

At the levels of economic development, the corporate client need to ask if is fine? I have to say that no one from the Nissan experience. By the that the rumor of Toyota’s surfaced over the weekend, the had already been made.


One last anecdote. Back in I was a sponsor and delegate to the U.S.-China Week. The Chinese delegation was of high-net-worth individuals, interested in investments in the United States.

Our was escorted from the hotel to Stadium by a phalanx of Texas motorcycle troopers, with and lights clearing a path rush-hour traffic. At Cowboy the delegates were welcomed by a Jumbotron Texas welcome. Rick Perry, along the governors from Wisconsin and were on hand to welcome the Former President George W. dined with the group and individual photos.

So to Shirane-san and Perry, kudos to you. Texas hospitality combined superior research and perfect of Toyota’s needs and requirements. in Torrance, the finger-pointing is just as the mayor, the City Council and of the city demand to know how lost the world’s largest company. The upcoming City meeting on May 6 will be memorable.

Jonathan Kaji is president of Associates, a real estate based in Torrance. He served as the of the State of California Office of and Investment in Tokyo (1993-1999) and as a member of the Board of Governors for the American National Museum and the Tokyo Service Center. expressed are not necessarily those of The Shimpo.

Toyota 1957 Sports
Toyota 1957 Sports
Toyota 1957 Sports
Toyota 1957 Sports

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