Toyota Braces for U.S. Trade Tension, Raises Full-year Profit Forecast

Toyota raised its full-year forecasts -- albeit falling short of analysts' estimates -- as the carmaker sought to navigate rising protectionism under President Donald Trump and as the yen's volatility weighed on prospects for exports of its Prius and Lexus models.Operating profit will probably be 1.85 trillion yen ($16.4 billion) in the year through March, up from its previous forecast of 1.7 trillion yen but about 10 percent lower than what analysts projected. The Toyota City, Japan-based automaker on Monday reported a 39 percent decline in third-quarter operating, also missing estimates.Even with the benefits of a weaker yen boosting repatriated profits, Toyota must contend with possible trade tensions after Trump criticized the automaker's plans to build a Corolla plant in Mexico. The attack broadened with the U.S. leader rebuking Japan for sending the U.S. hundreds of thousands of cars from what he said were "the biggest ships I've ever seen" while American carmakers struggle to sell their vehicles in Japan."It's difficult to give any impact forecast from Trump's administration at this point," Tetsuya Otake, a Toyota managing officer, said in a briefing in Tokyo on Monday. "Toyota will cooperate with its group as it watches the moves from Trump's administration."  Continue reading...

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