ArvinMeritor's fiscal third quarter was marked by decreased sales and net losses as a result of lower production volumes in global equipment markets
. Along with its third quarter results, the company also announced that it will sell its entire wheels unit to Iochpe-Maxion, S.A., a Brazilian producer of wheels and frames for commercial vehicles.

The parts supplier lost $162 million, or $2.23 a share, as opposed to net income of $44 million, or $0.60 a share, during the fiscal third quarter of 2008. Overall sales were down to $993 million, a 47 percent drop from $1.9 billion in the year-ago period. Within its Commercial Vehicle Systems business, sales were down nearly 50 percent.

"Although sales are down significantly, our performance this quarter demonstrates a continued diligence to improve ArvinMeritor's liquidity position through proactive management of working capital, improved operational performance and ongoing cost reduction actions," said Chip McClure, chairman, CEO and president.

The company expects to close the deal to sell its wheels business by Sept. 23, and the $180 million purchase price should be reflected in its fiscal fourth quarter results. In June, the company shed the majority of its chassis business.

ArvinMeritor expects its fourth quarter revenue to be slightly lower as a result of seasonal patterns, it says. Its losses per share should be greater and total free cash flow is expected to be negative.

"While we anticipate market conditions will remain tough through our fourth fiscal quarter, we are taking appropriate actions that should help offset the impact and allow us to remain in compliance with our year-end credit line financial covenant," said McClure. "We will continue to proactively manage working capital levels, execute key initiatives and reduce costs, while at the same time positioning the company for a recovery in our key markets."