TRW Automotive US LLC plans to close its Sterling Heights manufacturing facility by July 2006.

The factory has approximately 135 employees and assembles ball joints and conventional steering linkage for the automotive industry. Plans are to consolidate plant operations into other existing TRW facilities.

"We do not have the volume of business to support the manufacturing capacity of the Sterling Heights facility," said Ron Muckley, vice president of operations for TRW's braking and suspension business in North America. "We are making every effort to decrease excess capacity and trim costs to compete in an increasingly global marketplace."

Company officials have met with employees to announce the planned closure.