Toyota is beginning to move hundreds of jobs out of its northern Kentucky headquarters as part of a nationwide consolidation of the company’s operations.
Layoffs began at Toyota’s Erlanger plant on Tuesday and will continue through the end of 2018, The Kentucky Enquirer reported.
The company, which is moving its facilities to the Dallas suburb of Plano, said the move will affect 648 workers.
Erlanger has been home to the Japanese automaker’s North American engineering and manufacturing headquarters since 1996.
Marc Fields, Erlanger’s city administrator, said the city is sad to see Toyota leave, but it has been preparing for this moment since Toyota announced its consolidation plans in April 2014.
“We have been fortunate that several new businesses have come to Erlanger since the announcement or are on the move here,” he said. “The future looks bright. … We will continue to recruit businesses and promote the city to prospects.”
The company has been an active participant in philanthropy in Kentucky and it is also one of the biggest taxpayers in the city of Erlanger.
“Although Toyota’s Erlanger-based headquarters will eventually move, we know that a continued strong presence in Kentucky is central to Toyota’s ongoing success,” Toyota North American CEO James Lentz said in a letter to then-Gov. Steve Beshear in 2014. “We want to make clear that Toyota’s roots will remain deep in this state, and we plan to maintain a strong presence in Kentucky for decades to come.”