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back to index backAMERItalk October,  2005


Los Angeles Scrambles For Incentives That Would Keep Nissan in Town

Los Angeles officials are scrambling for a combination of tax and other incentives big enough to keep Nissan from moving its U.S. headquarters off to a lower-rent neighborhood in Tennessee or Texas, reports said.

The Bloomberg news agency said L.A. Economic Development Corp. vice president Greg Whitney told it his group has formed a team to study ways to keep the automaker from picking up stakes. He said LAEDC officials had met with aides to the Los Angeles County Board and with executives of Southern California Edison seeking concessions that would give Nissan reason to keep its administrative staff of 1,300 in Gardena and the 100 professionals at its La Jolla design center in place.

Ghosn told Bloomberg over the weekend that the company has made no decisions about the move, at least so far. The L.A. Times said three weeks ago (JAD 9/19) that local headhunters had received a rush of calls from Nissan employees asking about job prospects if they left the company. Few of the current staff would accept a move out of L.A., the paper said.

‘Bonehead Move?'

The Detroit Free Press, meantime, said one auto industry analyst, echoing a point made by the L.A. Times, called it a bonehead move” because Nissan will be unable to attract the kind of talent to Tennessee or Texas that it was able to find easily in Los Angeles. That, however, may or may not be true. Aside from the fact that a lot of professionals can be enticed to live almost anywhere if the salaries are high enough, Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan itself seem perfectly capable of attracting good people to rural towns in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Mississippi.


Source: Japan Automotive Digest
- GAI
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