DETROIT -- American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. said on Thursday that it remained in the black for the third quarter.
Despite headwinds from steel prices, declining General Motors production and product mix, the Detroit driveline supplier reported net income of $19.3 million on third-quarter sales of $848.1 million. That compared with the year ago net of $36.4 million on sales of $841.6 million.
Despite the drop in net income from last year, American Axle has shown remarkable resilience. Wall Street fears that GM sales of the soon-to-be-replaced pickups and SUV models built on the GMT 800 platform along with slowing sales of other SUVs will fall next quarter.
But company executives dispute that. GM needs to rebuild its truck inventory after sales incentives last summer depleted inventories. And axle sales to the Chrysler group are up because of increased popularity of the automaker's medium-duty light trucks.
American Axle also increased its non-GM sales for the quarter by 18 percent to $207.2 million, or 24 percent of total sales.
American Axle reduced its exposure to volatile steel prices. It can now recover from customers the higher costs it pays for two thirds of the steel it buys, the company reported. The net benefit was $6.2 million in the quarter.
American Axle, of Detroit, ranks No. 35 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $3.60 billion in 2004.
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