TOKYO — Toyota's push to reignite its critical U.S. earnings engine is running into headwinds.
Although it has been successfully reining in incentives and pumping up regional operating profit in North America, slumping sales are undermining its operating margin, which languishes at just 2 percent — far below the 8 percent Toyota wants in two years' time.
CFO Koji Kobayashi conceded last week that he isn't hopeful Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz can achieve that goal. But, he added, the company will keep pushing.
"I don't have confidence, but I want to continue to argue that message, or the message will be lost," Kobayashi said at the company's fiscal year-end earnings announcement last week.