Why Over 150 Japanese Companies (and Counting) are Calling Texas Home

The “Toyota effect” is changing business in the Lone Star state.

By Alain StephensJuly 6, 2016 11:21 am|

Japanese auto giant Toyota is building a new home right here in Texas. With over 100 acres of real-estate, the company will bring 4,000 employees and a 2-million-square-foot facility to Plano.

Bill Hethcock, reporter for the Dallas Business Journal, has noticed the recent uptick in Japanese companies bringing their business to Texas, the “Toyota effect” as it’s sometimes called. He says Toyota is just one of more than a hundred companies settling in at their new Texan digs.

“It’s growing fast. Dallas-Fort Worth has well over 150 Japanese firms with either regional headquarters or operations in North Texas,” he says.

Around 160 companies have bases here, with about 20 of them that opened in the past year, including Kubota Tractor.

“They are moving here from California as is Toyota,” he says. “They broke ground last October on a $15 million headquarters in Grapevine.”

So why does the Toyota effect have such an impact on growth? Hethcock says it brings attention to cities they may have overlooked.

“When a major company like that moves in it gets a lot of notice – and people start wondering ‘What’s going on here?” he says. “What does Plano have? What does Dallas-Fort Worth have that we may be missing?”

The influx of Japanese companies building headquarters in Texas also creates a ripple effect of suppliers moving in. And it’s not just in the Dallas area.

“I know Houston is getting its share,” he says. “Japanese energy-engineering giant JGC Corporation launched a major expansion of its new Houston facilities last May, and Kuraray Chemical set up its main office in the Clearlake area.”