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Mercedes-Benz USA to transfer its headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta

Mercedes-Benz USA has decided to transfer its headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta in a bid to trim costs while hoping it could take advantage of forecasted growth in southern United States. According to Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive Steve Cannon, the carmaker will commence the transfer in June to temporary offices in Atlanta while preparing to build a new headquarters by the end of 2017.

He remarked that the transfer decision was influenced by high costs in New Jersey and by anticipated growth in sales and dealerships in the South, particularly in Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. He cited lower costs in the South as a major factor in the carmaker’s decision to relocate.

He remarked that the “great migration from north to south continues” with companies and customers. Carmakers for the past year have been moving their bases in the US.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz USA to transfer its headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta

Ferrari mulls shifting fiscal headquarters out of Italy

Ferrari is mulling transferring its fiscal headquarters outside Italy to reduce its corporate taxes as it gets ready for eventual spinoff from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. Ferrari may follow the example set by Fiat Chrysler – registering in the Netherlands, listing on the New York Stock Exchange and having its fiscal base in London for tax reasons.

The sources remarked that Ferrari is still considering being based in Italy. They remarked that even if the super car maker transfers its fiscal residency to other countries, it wouldn't affect its manufacturing and engineering operations in Maranello, Italy.

A final decision on the matter will be made in the next few months. Should Ferrari follow the footsteps of its parent, it would be a big blow for Italy, which economy has been on the low side for years. Spinning off Ferrari is part of a plan by Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne to generate $5 billion to be used for reducing its debt and financing the carmaker’s industrial plan.

Read the entire article Ferrari mulls shifting fiscal headquarters out of Italy

Porsche reveals new 911 sculpture which will be installed at its headquarters

Porsche celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special sculpture at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Now, a new sculpture inspired by the one unveiled back in 2013 will be seen on Porscheplatz. According to the German company, the new sculpture will sit at the roundabout in the centre of the intersection controlled by traffic lights on Porscheplatz, at its headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.

Porsche aims to achieve a visual link with the Porsche Museum and create a scenic impression. With a height of 24 meters and about 10 meters around its base, the sculpture includes three steles, each of them having a Porsche 911 perched on its top.

As expected, the vehicles are various model years of the Porsche 911. The German manufacturer is planning to perform work on its new sculpture outside peak traffic times and during the summer holidays in 2015.

Read the entire article Porsche reveals new 911 sculpture which will be installed at its headquarters

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chooses London’s West End as new global HQ

The global headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV – a merger of Italian carmaker Fiat and American unit Chrysler Group LLC – will be located at London's West End. According to Jonathan Stern, a partner at Mellersh & Harding and a broker, FCA has inked a deal to lease three floors in a building on St. James's Street – which is around a 10-minute walk from Buckingham Palace.

Fiat and Chrysler chief executive opted to locate FCA’s new base in London to represent the group's ambitions to become a global auto power. Likewise, London will be a neutral place between Turin, Italy and Detroit, Michigan. London’s West West End is considered as the most expensive office location in the world with a lease rate of $277 a square foot.

Despite that, only 3.5 percent of workspace in the West End is unoccupied or vacant, according to broker Savills Plc said this month. Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank LLP, disclosed that Fiat's decision to be based in London led to a residential buying spree in the city, with Italians as the largest group of foreigners buying homes in its best districts in the first eight months of 2014.

Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chooses London’s West End as new global HQ

The new headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in London will be staffed by around 50 people and most of them will have finance backgrounds, two people privy with the details of FCA’s plan to move its tax residency to the United Kingdom told Automotive News Europe.

Among those holding offices in the UK are Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne and Fiat Group Chairman John Elkann, one of the sources said, adding that chief financial officer Richard Palmer might also hold office in London.

One of the sources divulged that most of the staff in the London base will take care of treasury operations, although Fiat Chrysler has no immediate plans to tap new employees in London, adding that the carmaker’s Turin and Chrysler HQs will not be closed or will not have their workforce reduced.

Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler’s London headquarters to house 50 finance staff

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne has disclosed that the merged carmaker will be based in London, United Kingdom. This means that Fiat would essentially move away from its Turin, Italy headquarters, its home for the past 115 years. Chrysler is currently based in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Marchionne said that Fiat Chrysler’s group executive functions, board, his office, and some of his functions will be based in London. He, however, said that this doesn't mean he will give up operational responsibilities of the United States.

“We will be multi-faceted,” he quipped. Fiat completed a $4.35-billion transaction in January taking full control of Chrysler and pave way for the establishment of the seventh-largest auto group in world. At the time, Fiat Chrysler was believed to have its primary listing in New York, with a secondary listing in Milan.

Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be headquartered in London

Toyota is moving its United States marketing base from California to Texas, and is looking forward to learn from the experience Nissan had when it moved from the state to Tennessee in 2006. In Nissan’s case, the Japanese carmaker lost around 60 percent of its 1,300-strong Los Angeles workforce, since employees were not willing to relocate from the city to Nashville.

Atlas Van Lines, a corporate relocation consulting firm, however, Nissan’s loss rate was not something unusual. Atlas Van Lines said in 2013 that average relocation had 54 percent of employees unwilling to relocated, although the figure has dropped slightly in recent years. Nissan, however, counters that “train-wreck scenario” that critics at the time proved to be wrong.

Larry Dominique, who was Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning at the time, remarked that he came to Nashville with only two of his nine product planners, while seven of them opted not to stay with the carmaker.

Read the entire article Toyota hopes to learn from Nissan’s 2006 transfer experience when moving headquarters

A decision by Toyota Motor Corp. to shift its North American sales headquarters from Torrance, California to Plano, Texas is considered as a strategic and optimistic move, but not for the residents of the city. Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto has remarked to Reuters that he had been blindsided by the move.

Pat Simpson, a Torrance resident for over 60 years, just asked in disbelief, “Why do they want to tear this place apart?" According to Scotto, he first thought that it was about something else when he was he was told by Toyota to expect a phone call at 9:45 a.m. on Monday.

He added that they thought that only a part of Toyota was moving, not everything. He said that Toyota’s decision was "sad news." Toyota is one of the two biggest employers in Torrance, employing around 4,000 people, representing around five percent of the city's workforce.

Read the entire article Toyota’s US HQ transfer to Texas shocks Torrance residents

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. is shifting its sales and marketing headquarters from Los Angeles, California, to Plano, Texas, sources privy to the matter told Reuters. The transfer, which will occur in several phases within two years, will affect most of the Toyota's 5,000 sales and marketing management and employees will, Toyota insiders disclosed, adding that the move was announced to a small group of Toyota executives on Friday and will be make known to employees Monday.

Toyota had been expected to disclose details of an overhaul of its marketing operations, which should commence on May 1, Reuters reported in February, which also said that 80 employees would have to reapply for newly created positions or take a voluntary separation.

Toyota said in February that it is redefining employee roles and responsibilities to be more "integrated, flexible and efficient," noting that the changes were needed to meet its future business needs and support dealers and guests more effectively."

Read the entire article Toyota to move sales HQ from Los Angeles to Texas, sources say

Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is about to disclose his next move to further improve business at the struggling carmaker – shifting the company’s headquarters out of Italy. Sources privy with Fiat told Reuters that Marchionne is likely to shift the headquarters to the United Kingdom, which is more tax-friendly than Europe.

Marchionne is also planning to have its primary share listing in New York. He is carefully considering his next moves, since the Italian government might interfere with his plans as any shift could bad news for the fragile Italian government that is struggling to protect jobs in its territory. "I've seen weirder things happen," Marchionne said at the Detroit Auto Show.

"So I sincerely hope they don't create obstacles." Fiat is now bound to take full ownership of Chrysler after inking an agreement to buy the remaining stake from a UAW retiree healthcare fund for $4.35 billion. The agreement opens the way for Marchionne to merge Fiat and Chrysler to form a global carmaker large enough to compete against other large carmakers.

Read the entire article Plans to shift Fiat HQ out of Italy may face obstacles

Michael Horn, the newly named chief executive officer and president of Volkswagen Group of America, is confident that he knows how to achieve success in North America – changing the mindset of the German headquarters. "We need to push more. Not here, but in Wolfsburg," Horn said, referring to the home base of parent Volkswagen AG.

"It's about how to translate the American market in Wolfsburg,” Horn said, noting the headquarters need to listen to US demands depends, which could be partly achieved by having a strong network inside the company.

"There are formal organizations and there are informal organizations," remarked Horn. VW recently disclosed that it will introduce a mid-sized sports utility vehicle tailored for consumers in the United States, with an aim of improving the sales of its namesake brand in the country.

Read the entire article VW US boss Michael Horn says changing mindset of HQ vital to success

General Motors will open a new headquarters in Singapore to be able to oversee markets that include Southeast Asia and India in the second quarter of 2014. It will be headed by Stefan Jacoby, an executive vice president at GM, with an oversight of over 120 employees, GM said in a statement. The operation will also oversee GM’s operations in South Korea, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

GM reorganized its overseas businesses in August, separating China in the process. The carmaker named Tim Lee as chairman of its Chinese operations and placed Jacoby in charge of over 100 countries and territories. Lee remains in Shanghai, China where the current operations are based. He oversees 12 joint ventures and more than 55,000 employees.

Namrita Chow, an analyst at IHS Automotive, told Bloomberg that GM is strengthening its sales in high-growth markets in Asia and Africa, especially markets like Indonesia. He noted that a base in Singapore will help GM expand its focus on those markets without having them sidelined by its China operations.

Read the entire article General Motors to open new headquarters in Singapore

Shelby American Inc. will consolidate its manufacturing site and Speed Shop tuning center in its new flagship headquarters and plant in near the Las Vegas Strip when it opens on December 1, 2013. The company's new flagship base will also feature a museum, gift shop and factory tours. The new 135,000-square-foot facility will be located near famed boulevard adjacent to Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport.

According to John Luft, president of Shelby American, moving to a more noticeable location will better prepare the company to go global. He said in a statement that the move is consistent with what Carroll Shelby "did many times in the past." He remarked the new facility will allow Shelby American to "be more nimble and accessible" to its customers, while "dramatically improving production and operational efficiency."

According to Luft, Shelby American expects the project to cost between $800,000 and $1 million. Shelby American's 185,000-square-foot site near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is consists of five buildings housing various operations.

Read the entire article Shelby American moving its HQ to Vegas, plans new Speed Shop

Italian Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato will meet with Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne over concerns that he plans to transferr the headquarters of the carmaker and Fiat Industrial away from Italy, Il Sole 24 Ore reported. Zanonato told the Italian daily that he will press Fiat’s CEO over Italy's future role at the two companies.

Fiat Industrial is planning to move its fiscal headquarters to the United Kingdom after consummating a merger with tractor unit CNH Global NV to save on its annual tax bills. Fiat Group, on the other hand, is considering shifting its corporate headquarters from Turin, Italy to the United States after completing a merger with American subsidiary Chrysler Group, reports have indicated.

The possible transfer of the two companies away from Italy has raised concerns among labor leaders, who in turn have pressed the Italian government to take action to secure jobs in the country.

Read the entire article Italy to press Fiat CEO over concerns on possible HQ transfer

An idea to transfer Fiat SpA’s corporate headquarters from Turin, Italy to the United States after it consummates a planned merger with Chrysler Group is not on the carmaker's agenda. A spokesman for Fiat said in a statement that the issue, which was floated around in 2012 by the media, is not “the order of the day” as chief executive Sergio Marchionne has recently reiterated.

Fiat’s latest statement referred to a Bloomberg report this week that cites people privy with the matter as saying that the Italian carmaker was considering transferring its corporate headquarters to the US. The sources told Bloomberg that there is yet no final decision on the matter and other options are being assessed.

The idea to transfer Fiat’s headquarters to the US was pitched in by L. Brooks Patterson, county executive of Oakland County, Michigan where Chrysler is based, while having dinner with Marchionne in Turin in 2012. Patterson told Bloomberg that if the transfer materializes, “it's good news." Patterson remarked that the transfer would enhance the “entire Motor City image.” Marchionne remarked in April 2013 that he favored a primary listing in New York for Fiat.

Read the entire article Fiat denies considering idea of HQ transfer to the US

Fiat is mulling transferring its corporate headquarters from Turin, Italy to the United States after it consumes its planned merger with Chrysler Group, three people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. The sources disclosed that Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of both companies, is assessing the transfer from Italy to the US as the Italian carmaker's revenue and profit center shifts to North America.

The region accounted for around 75 percent of Fiat’s operating profit in 2012. The sources said that Fiat has yet to make a final decision on the matter and is examining other options. Marchionne revealed in April that that he is leaning towards a primary listing in New York for the merged company.

Should Fiat decide to move its headquarters from Turin, Italy to the US, a political backlash might occur in crisis-affected Italy, where the entire industrial sector is experiencing a decline. Unemployment rate in the country is nearing a 20-year high as companies avoid getting new workers as Italy suffers from its longest recession in over two decades.

Read the entire article Fiat mulls moving corporate HQ from Italy to the US

Faurecia North America Inc. is now cleared by the Auburn Hills city council to construct a three-story, 278,000-square-foot North American headquarters in the Detroit suburb. The new building will house Faurecia’s administration and a technical center for its automotive seating and exteriors units.

Faurecia, a French-based auto supplier, expects the new headquarters in Auburn, Michigan to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. Faurecia disclosed its plans to construct its new headquarters in Auburn last week. Industry sources expect Faurecia to spend around $30 million to complete its Auburn base, the construction of which will commence this month.

The building will be leased from a local developer. The auto supplier’s new headquarters will ultimately be home to as many as 700 employees, some of whom will be new hires. The employees will come from the company’s Automotive Seating Technical Center, its Oakland Shared Services Center, and the Oakland Technical Center for Automotive Exteriors, according to a news release.

Read the entire article Faurecia gets green light to build new North American HQ in Michigan

Faurecia North America Inc. has plans to construct a new North American headquarters and technical center north of Detroit in Auburn Hills, Mich. Stacy Fields, the asset manager of business development for General Development Co., said that Faurecia plans to put up a headquarters to accommodate its administration and a light assembly operation.

This three-story, 300,000-square-foot headquarters sits on 211 acres and will later hold about 700 employees, several of whom will be for newly created jobs. Faurecia is the French interiors and seating supplier controlled by Peugeot SA.

Meanwhile, General Development is the developer and general contractor for the building, which will be leased. According to industry sources, the new headquarters will be a $30 million development. Fields said that in 2010, General Development purchased the property from Chrysler Group LLC. Fields said that construction is slated to start within the next 30-60 days, and it's predicted to open in the first quarter of 2014.

Read the entire article Faurecia plans to build new North American headquarters and technical center

Porsche’s soon-to-open North American headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia will feature a 1.6-mile test track and a customer experience center that dealers could use to hasten the closure of sales or reward a loyal customer. According to Detlev von Platen, chief executive of Porsche Cars North America, the 1.6-mile test track and the customer experience center could be booked by dealers for individual customers or for a whole-day group tour.

Following a groundbreaking ceremony for the headquarters project, von Platen urged dealers to invest and make sure that the Porsche brand is kept a little bit different in the way the products are experienced. He added that dealers are “very integrated” on the project.

CEO of Porsche Cars North America noted that around 80 percent of the US population is within a two-hour flight of Atlanta, since the carmaker’s new $100 million headquarters is just adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, considered as the world’s busiest airport.

Read the entire article New Porsche HQ in Atlanta to have test track, customer experience center

As Mazda aims to reduce its worldwide losses, it will eliminate over 100 jobs at its headquarters in Europe. Their responsibilities will be accomplished by its national sales companies. Mazda told Automotive News Europe that its number of employees at its offices in Leverkusen, Germany, will shrink from 306 employees to 190.

Mazda said that it is restructuring its operations to enhance efficiency due to the "difficult global situation." In the future, Mazda Motor Europe's headquarters will be reduced to a strategic role. The responsibilities would then be assigned to its 22 national sales companies in the region.

Mazda said that the restructuring won’t affect Mazda's German sales company, which is located on the same site as the European headquarters. When interviewed at the Geneva auto show last week, Mazda Europe President Jeffrey Guyton said that for the fiscal year that ends this month, its sales are expected to decline to around 180,000 units in its 41 European markets from 212,000 units in the fiscal year, which ended in March 2011.

Read the entire article Mazda to eliminate over 100 jobs at its headquarters in Europe