Mitsubishi is saying “buh bye” to California’s high taxes and moving its headquarters to Franklin, multiple media outlets report.
Mitsubishi was one of two final Japanese car manufacturers to have its headquarters in California, CNET said. Honda will be the lone Japanese holdout. Moving to Franklin will allow the company to be closer to its Alliance partner Nissan, which moved there around 13 years ago.
Nashville Business Journal added that other Middle Tennessee automotive brand names include Bridgestone, General Motors, Hankook and suppliers and other related companies. The move will include about 200 jobs and an $18.25 million investment in corporate jobs including legal, finance, IT, sales and dealer operations.
Mitsubishi is negotiating a long-term office lease plus a lease for interim use. A move to a temporary space will start in August and be done by the end of the year, Nashville Business Journal said.
Automotive News said Mitsubishi cited Franklin’s high-tech community, cost savings, business-friendly work environment and, again, proximity to Nissan.
Mitsubishi’s decision is yet another loss for Southern California, referred to in 2000 as “Motown West” for the concentration of automotive brands that based their U.S. operations there. Since then, the brands under Ford’s former Premier Automotive Group — Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo — moved back east, Suzuki stopped selling cars in the U.S. and Toyota moved to a huge campus in Plano, Texas.
The move is part of an ongoing plan to reinvent every aspect of Mitsubishi Motors in the U.S., from corporate leadership to dealer partners, the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development said. This is expected to sharpen the company’s focus on future growth and innovation.
Mitsubishi Motors’ move highlights efforts taken across the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to bring the companies closer in key areas, including procurement, development and cost efficiencies, the ECD said.
Since 2013, headquarters jobs have grown by 37 percent in Tennessee, the fastest rate of growth among states in the Southeast, the ECD said.
Franklin Mayor Ken Moore said, “We seek great business partners here in Franklin. But we also want terrific corporate neighbors. Mitsubishi Motors checks both of those boxes, and I look forward to the economic and social benefits this tremendous company will have on our city and region.”
Gov. Bill Lee tweeted, “Word is spreading about our skilled workforce, low taxes and business friendly environment. Today was a BIG day for our state!”
Word is spreading about our skilled workforce, low taxes and business friendly environment. Today was a BIG day for our state! pic.twitter.com/v5tEPVqt2z
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) June 25, 2019
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