updated 10/31/2006 9:29:32 AM ET 2006-10-31T14:29:32

Auto parts maker Visteon Corp. reported Tuesday a loss of $177 million for the third quarter because of reduced production at Ford Motor Co. and other auto manufacturers.

The company also said it expects to cut its white-collar work force by 900 in the U.S. and Europe in an effort to reduce expenses.

The loss amounted to $1.38 per share, for the July-September period, but was smaller than the loss of $207 million, or $1.64 per share, a year ago.

This year’s loss was wider than expected by Wall Street. Eleven analysts polled by Thomson Financial had predicted a third-quarter loss of 76 cents per share.

“Our third quarter results came under pressure due, in part, to significant reductions in vehicle production by a number of our customers,” Chairman and Chief Executive Michael F. Johnston said in a statement. “We are taking aggressive actions to resize the business in light of these declines.”

Revenue totaled $2.62 billion, down 36.4 percent from $4.12 billion in the same quarter of last year. Visteon said sales were lower because it transferred 23 plants and other facilities back to Ford, its former parent, in October. Ford has set up a holding company to sell or close the plants.

For the first nine months of the year, Visteon lost $124 million, or 97 cents per share, versus a loss of $1.61 billion, or $12.78 a share, a year ago. Revenue for the nine months fell to $8.58 billion versus $14.11 billion a year ago.

The third-quarter loss also included $14 million in restructuring expenses.

Johnston said the company expects challenging conditions for the rest of this year and into 2007.

Visteon hasn’t determined where the white-collar job cuts would be made, spokeswoman Kimberley Goode said. Many would come at its Van Buren Township headquarters near Detroit, she said. The cuts are in direct response to production cuts by the Big Three domestic automakers as well as its other major customers, she said.

Ford, which amounts to a little less than half of Visteon’s business, on Monday announced that it expects production in the first six months of 2007 to be down 8 to 12 percent from the same period this year as it works to bring manufacturing in line with lower demand for its products.

For 2006, Ford has said production would be down about 9 percent compared with 2005.

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