American Axle & Manufacturing, after second-quarter losses of $644 million, plans to make a profit next year by becoming smaller in the United States. In an effort to eliminate 70% of its U.S. capacity, the company is preparing to idle parts of its Detroit axle plant and close forging plants in Detroit and New York. American Axle plans to eliminate 2,500 hourly and salary jobs, including more than 2,000 UAW-represented workers who accepted buyouts or retirement offers negotiated in the company’s labor contract.
American Axle’s largest quarterly loss since going public in 1999 was mostly due to the UAW’s three-month strike. Demand for large trucks and SUVs, which account for approximately 88% of American Axle’s sales, also plunged at unexpected rates.