Mitsubishi Motors to double staff at plant

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said today it would double the number of its workers at a plant it had once marked for closing, as it plans to introduce three new models by next spring.

A Mitsubishi Motors spokesman said the carmaker would switch to two shifts from a single shift at its Okazaki plant in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, and hire 500 to 600 people, bringing the total work force to about 1,300 by the end of this year.

The company also plans to turn to a two-shift operation from a single shift at another plant in Gifu prefecture, central Japan.

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Motors said last year it would close its Okazaki plant as part of its restructuring.

But underscoring healthy domestic sales of the Outlander SUV, the restructuring automaker said in April it would continue operations at the plant, producing the model along with another Japanese factory that is running at full capacity.

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