LOS ANGELES (TheStreet) -- Do we really think low taxes and a salesman governor are enough to convince Toyota (TM) to move its North American headquarters from Torrance, Calif., its home for 50 years, to Texas?
Sure, that's the story line. And of course, companies will do pretty much anything to pay lower taxes. But another equally important consideration is transporation infrastructure, which has driven corporate relocation decisions for centuries.
In this case, Los Angeles does not have a real airline hub and Dallas/Fort Worth does. That's important for a sprawling global corporation with manufacturing plants and other facilities throughout the U.S and the world.
The big three U.S. airlines all claim to operate hubs at LAX, but that is just nomenclature. United (UAL) has the biggest LAX operation, with about 200 daily departures to 65 destinations.
By contrast, the American (AAL) hub in Dallas has 800 daily departures to 192 destinations, including 42 international destinations. It has two daily flights to Tokyo. It is the second-biggest single airline hub in the world. At Atlanta, Delta (DAL) operates 1,000 daily departures. Third is Charlotte, where US Airways operates 645 daily departures to 142 destinations.
In the U.S., transportation infrastructure has dictated corporate relocations since the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Mass., in 1620, an early indication of the importance of East Coast harbors. Early business centers were Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, S.C. A high-capacity port made Charleston the fifth-largest U.S. city in 1690 and Boeing's (BA) choice for a 787 Dreamliner plant in 2009.