TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp.'s reliable cash cow, the North American market, is suddenly a swirl of uncertainties.
Operating profit in the region plummeted 53 percent in the latest quarter, helping trigger a double-digit plunge in Toyota corporate earnings.
Foreign exchange rate losses bit the hardest. But slowing market demand, the market shift toward light trucks and a rush of vehicles coming off lease are combining with uncertainty about Trump administration trade policy to cloud Toyota's outlook.
In announcing earnings for the company's fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, Managing Officer Tetsuya Otake warned last week that U.S. incentives are rising and residuals are falling.
"Competition has intensified in the market. Incentives in the market trended upward," Otake said, adding that Toyota expects the overall U.S. market to decline about 2 percent in calendar year 2017 after a record finish in 2016. "We expect a tough used-car market going forward."