Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is set to halt production of two unpopular sports-car models , the Nikkei Industrial Daily reported Wednesday.

The car maker's consideration to drop the GTO and FTO sports cars from its lineup is part of its plan to slash costs by cutting the number of models it offers. The decision is also prompted by the likelihood that the two models will not meet new, stricter side-impact regulations set to go into effect in September 2000.

In November 1998 Mitsubishi first announced plans to reduce its number of models by 40% and cut to six from 12 the number of platforms - the underbody and key engine and transmission parts - on which it builds its cars is part of an industry - wide trend aimed at lowering overhead costs.

Other car makers are taking a similar approach, hoping to achieve economies of scale by raising the percentage of shared parts and frames among models.

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