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Toyota Financial Services will relocate its Cedar Rapids customer service center that employs 600 people within the next two years, a spokesman told The Gazette.
Toyota will consolidate its customer service centers from six to three locations — Chandler, Ariz., Plano, Texas, and Alpharetta, Ga. The Texas location will cover the central region.
Toyota spokesman Vince Bray said every employee 'in good standing' will be offered a role at one of the other customer service centers.
'Most will be offered roles in Texas, but some could go to the other centers,' Bray wrote in an email.
Bray did not disclose separation benefit possibilities for those employees who do not relocate.
The relocations will not happen 'immediately,' Bray said. The consolidation of the customer service centers should be done within the next two years, he added.
'We are excited about our plans to evolve our customer service operations to provide greater value to our customers and dealers and create stronger career opportunities for our team members,' Bray wrote in the email.
Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance's business retention and expansion strategist, said the loss of Toyota is 'very unfortunate.'
The company located here about three decades ago.
'To lose one of your signature employers like this is not good news,' Corbett told The Gazette on Wednesday. 'This is always why you need to put your foot on the gas bringing in new jobs.'
He said Toyota, a longtime member of the Economic Alliance, had been a 'huge success story' as a company that was recruited to Cedar Rapids and then became a 'great corporate citizen.'
'Their employees are very active in several nonprofits in the community,' Corbett said.
U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, called it 'deeply upsetting news' in a statement released Wednesday evening.
'I am devastated for the employees who will lose their jobs, and I am heartbroken for their families,' Hinson said in the statement. 'My team and I stand ready to support Toyota Financial employees in our district who need resources or assistance navigating this tough time.'
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