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How many Toyota employees are moving to Plano? Answer coming soon

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Toyota CEO Jim Lentz expects to know in about 90 days how many of Toyota's 4,000 employees will make the move to Plano, but he continues to believe it will be about 3,000.

Lentz, who heads Toyota's North American operations, said in January that he thought about 75 percent of the employees in California, Kentucky and New York would accept jobs at the new headquarters in West Plano.

"My gut feel is still we're going to have 3,000 come and hire 1,000 locally," Lentz said Thursday after an event with the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

If Lentz is right about the number of Toyota employees who accept jobs in Plano, it would be an unusually high percentage for such a large corporate relocation.

"If you look at other corporate relocations, they typically lose about 75 percent of their people," he said. "We wanted to make this as easy as possible for our people."

By the end of the year, Toyota anticipates having about 1,200 people at its temporary headquarters east of the new campus -- a few hundred more than originally estimated.

"After we got 300 or 400 people here, everyone who decided they wanted to make the move wanted to come now," Lentz said.

As a result, the company has leased an additional three floors at the temporary quarters.

The extra space will be used as offices for the additional employees coming to Plano, as well as training space for local hires.

Toyota announced in May 2014 that it would move its headquarters to Plano from Torrance, Calif.

Despite heavy rains this spring, work on the seven buildings at the 100-acre headquarters campus remains mostly on schedule, Lentz said.

The exteriors of all the buildings have been largely completed and work will turn now to the interiors, he said.

"We've probably got 1,500 people working at the site, and that will increase next month to 2,000," Lentz said.

Two of the main buildings should be finished by next spring, and people will probably begin moving into the buildings in May.

The rest of the campus should be completed by next fall, with the remainder of employees settling in by the end of the year, he said.

Toyota has declined to say what the cost of the new campus will be. Originally, the cost was estimated at around $350 million.

Now, the company says the total expense of the campus and move will be about $1 billion.

Besides providing free travel to employees to look for housing and schools in North Texas, Toyota is offering "generous" bonuses to those who agree to move and is assisting with housing expenses.

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