Mitsubishi Motors on Tuesday said it would reduce production at a domestic plant in April to improve operating efficiency and would cut capital spending for this fiscal year to the end of March.

According to Dow Jones, the moves highlight efforts by the Japanese carmaker, in which DaimlerChrysler holds a 37% stake, to restore its profitability after being battered by sluggish sales in the US.

A Mitsubishi Motors spokesman told Dow Jones the firm would switch to a single daytime shift from the existing two-shift schedule at its Okazaki plant in Nagoya Prefecture, central Japan, as the operating ratio at the plant stands at a relatively low 50%.

The carmaker also reportedly said it would reduce parent-only capital spending by Y19 billion from its initial plan of Y140 billion for this fiscal year by cutting dealership remodelling costs by Y12 billion and spending on information technology by Y7.0 billion.

The measures will be implemented ahead of the scheduled announcement of a rehabilitation plan at the end of April, Dow Jones added.

The report said that, as a result of the schedule change, some 200 workers at the Nagoya plant, out of a total of 1,800, will be dispatched to a plant in Okayama Prefecture, western Japan, until the end of September.

The Nagoya plant currently has an output capacity of 17,500 vehicles a month and the spokesman declined to tell Dow Jones how much production will fall due to the changes.

Nagoya plant products include the Colt subcompact, the Grandis minivan and the Galant sedan, while Okayama builds the Lancer sedan and the eK Wagon minivehicle.

Dow Jones noted that struggling Mitsubishi Motors last week revised down its earnings outlook for the current fiscal year to a group net loss of Y72 billion.