The Timken Company, Canton, OH, will close its production facility in Sao Paolo, Brazil, by the end of the year. Timken will maintain a sales, marketing and warehousing presence in Brazil to meet the needs of customers and distributors.   ; Timken will support its future growth in the Brazilian market with its global manufacturing resources, along with new warehousing operations and a network of 35 distributors located in Brazil.   ; The closure of the facility in Brazil is part of Timken's ongoing efforts to improve the performance of its Automotive Group. The company previously announced a restructuring initiative in 2005 and a workforce reduction in 2006, which are on track to deliver expected savings of approximately $40 million and $35 million, respectively, by 2008. Since 2005, the company has reduced Automotive employment by more than 2,500 positions.   ; We continue to implement our initiatives to manage our portfolio and improve the performance of Timken's Automotive business," said Jacqueline A. Dedo, president of the company's Automotive Group. "Following the dramatic decline in vehicle production by certain North American customers that occurred in 2006, we are balancing our manufacturing capacity to more closely match demand levels going forward. Given the redundancies in production, we have been consolidating product lines in fewer, more focused factories to improve efficiency and reduce fixed costs."   ; The Sao Paulo plant opened in 1960, and produced tapered roller bearings ranging in size from 0 to 8 inches last year. It currently employs 300 people.   ; "Timken's sales in Brazil have been growing in key industrial, automotive and aftermarket segments," said Andrew Frisbie, managing director for Central and South America. "We expect to build on our market position going forward as we extend relationships with our customers and distributors in this important market."   ; Timken, manufacturer of friction management and power transmission products, had sales of $5 billion in 2006 and operations in 26 countries.