American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings has reported a net loss of US$288.6m, ($5.20 a share) after a 57% year on year decline in total light truck production volumes in the second quarter of 2009 due to the the extended production halts at key customers General Motors and Chrysler while they restructured.

This was however an improvement on the net loss of $644.3m ($11.89) booked the previous year. Net Q2 2009 sales were $245.6m versus $490.5m the year before.

AAM estimated it lost $203.6m in sales and operating income of $65.7m in April to June 2009 due mostly to the Chapter 11 bankruptcies of the two automakers.

It booked special charges of $191.8m, ($3.46 a share) related partly to workforce reductions and an accelerated buyout scheme for UAW-represented workers at the three ‘original’ US locations taken over when AAM was spun out of GM.

That was down on the $575.6m in similar charges reported in Q2 2008.

Average content per vehicle of $1,401 was about 7% higher than a year ago, the supplier noted. Non-GM sales accounted for $57.6m or about 23.5% of the total.

“The extended production shutdowns by GM and Chrysler adversely impacted AAM’s results for the second quarter of 2009 [and] required [us] to accelerate and expand restructuring actions to transition to new, reduced levels of customer demand and market requirements,” said AAM’s chairman and  CEO Richard Dauch.

“AAM remains focused on managing what we can control. We are achieving permanent and transformational improvements in AAM’s cost structure and operating flexibility.”

Net sales in the first half were $648.0m versis $1.1bn in H1 2008. Operating loss was $277.3m compared with an operating loss of $609.5m in the first half of 2008.