ArvinMeritor

(ARM)

said Tuesday it is lowering its sales and earnings forecasts to reflect the softening U.S. economy and the "rapid deterioration" of production volumes for its commercial vehicle business in North America.

The Troy, Mich., auto components maker said it sees second-quarter earnings per share of 40 cents to 45 cents, down from 87 cents in the year-ago period. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, nine analysts expected earnings of 51 cents a share.

For 2001, the company expects earnings of $1.35 to $1.45 a share, down from its previous forecast of $2 to $2.30 a share and sharply below its 2000 earnings of $3.56 a share. Analysts, on average, are expecting $1.92 a share.

ArvinMeritor also said it sees second-quarter sales of about $1.8 billion, down 13% from last year's second quarter, as well as 2001 sales of about $6.6 billion, a 14% decline from 2000.

"We are continuing to implement aggressive cost-reduction actions to address the current industry and economic conditions, and we are making progress in our efforts to close selected facilities, reduce our global workforce, consolidate manufacturing and engineering facilities, and reduce capital spending," the company said in a prepared statement.

Shares of the company finished Monday at $15.55 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.