NEW YORK -- Standard & Poor's on Tuesday cut the debt ratings of auto supplier ArvinMeritor Inc. further into junk status, citing weak operating performance and higher steel prices.
S&P also cited internal inefficiencies and weaker orders from two main customers, General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
S&P cut the company's corporate credit rating to "BB," two steps below investment grade, from "BB-plus," among other long-term ratings.
The outlook on the ratings is negative, which implies another potential cut in the next two years.
The company had total consolidated debt of about $1.5 billion at the end of March, S&P said.
ArvinMeritor, of Troy, Mich., ranked No. 13 on the Automotive News list of top 150 original equipment suppliers to North America with original equipment sales of $3.44 billion in 2004.