American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (AAM) has posted a third quarter net loss of US$440.9m, or $8.54 per share on sales of $528.1m.

It said the results reflected the adverse impact of special charges, asset impairments and other non-recurring operating costs of $398m, or $7.71 per share; these charges, the majority of which were      non-cash in the period, and related to hourly and salaried job cuts, plant closures and other actions to rationalise underused capacity and align the business to current and projected market requirements.

AAM said total light truck production volumes fell 44% year on year in the third quarter though content per vehicle rose 12% to $1,453.

In contrast, it reported net earnings of $13.5m, or $0.25 per share, in the third quarter of 2007.

"AAM's results in the third quarter of 2008 were adversely impacted by customer decisions to restrict production and reduce inventories of unsold vehicles.  This created a significant imbalance between our production schedules in the quarter and the selling rates of the major product programs AAM currently supports for GM and Chrysler in North America," said AAM chairman and CEO Richard Dauch.

"Rapid deterioration in the domestic economy, pervasive weakness in the credit markets and historically low consumer confidence compounded these challenges for the entire domestic automotive industry."

Net sales in the third quarter of 2008 were $528.1m versus $774.3m a year ago.

Net sales in the first three quarters of 2008 were $1.6bn versus $2.5bn in the first three quarters of 2007.

An operating loss of $1.0bn compared to operating income of $125.1m for the first three quarters of 2007.