In an attempt to reduce costs caused by a sluggish heavy truck demand, Detroit-based truck and auto parts maker ArvinMeritor Corp. laid off 240 salaried employees and eliminated nearly 100 contract posts yesterday.

According to the Detroit News, the North America cutbacks, representing less than 1 percent of ArvinMeritor's worldwide employment, are part of an effort to reduce costs by 16 percent in the company's commercial vehicle systems unit, a spokesman said.