* Q3 loss C$0.46/shr vs C$0.75/shr
* Sales drop 25.4 percent to C$52.2 mln
* Thinly traded shares end down 8.8 pct at C$2.60 (Adds closing share price)
TORONTO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Auto parts maker Wescast Industries WCSa.TO reported a smaller quarterly loss on Wednesday, helped by earlier restructuring efforts and lower raw material costs.
Wescast, the largest manufacturer of exhaust manifolds for cars and light trucks in North America, said it had a net loss of C$6.1 million ($5.6 million), or 46 Canadian cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 27. That compares with a loss of C$9.8 million, or 75 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.
The previous year's results included a restructuring charge of C$2.6 million. Wescast said that, even without that charge, the company's results this year were stronger, despite "significantly lower" casting and machining volumes.
"Reduced fixed costs, due to the various restructuring activities that have occurred, and lower raw material costs had a significant positive impact on the financial results during the quarter," the company said in a statement.
Sales fell 25.4 percent from the third quarter of 2008 to C$52.2 million.
Wescast's main North American customers are Detroit-based automakers General Motors Co [GM.UL], Chrysler FIA.MI and Ford Motor Co (F.N), which saw a decline of 23.8 percent in light vehicle production in the third quarter from the same period of 2008.
Wescast's thinly traded shares dropped late in the day to end down 25 Canadian cents, or 8.8 percent, at C$2.60 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=$1.08 Canadian Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson