ArvinMeritor has booked a net loss of US$162m or -$2.23 a share for its third fiscal quarter ended 30 June, 2009 on sales down 47% to $993m.

The supplier said the fall was due to “significantly lower” production volumes in most original equipment markets.

The net loss included $134m in losses from discontinued operations with $90m of that associated with the sale of several of the company’s chassis businesses.

EBITDA from continuing operations, before special items, was down 71% to $33m but, though core commercial vehicle system sales almost halved, EBITDA declined by 30%, due to operational improvements, restructuring effects and other cost reductions.

The operating loss was $28m compared to a $48m profit a year ago.

Free cash flow rose $211m to $73m in the third quarter due to continued working capital reductions.

ArvinMeritor today agreed to sell its wheels business to Brazilian wheel and frame maker Iochpe-Maxion for about $180m.

During the third quarter it sold its 51% stake in Gabriel de Venezuela, mostly completed the sale of Gabriel Ride Control Products North America and agreed to sell its Meritor Suspension Systems Company stake.