NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. employees at two Aichi Prefecture factories will put in some overtime next month for the first time in six months thanks to strong demand for the Prius hybrid, company officials said Wednesday.

Toyota will boost production of the Prius by about 20 percent from its initial plan of 42,000 to 43,000 per month, to around 50,000 units, they said.

To meet the increase, the company will ask employees at two factories producing the Prius — one in the city of Toyota and another run by Toyota Auto Body Co., a major affiliated parts maker, in the city of Kariya — to work overtime.

Because the subcontractor’s capacity to supply parts is limited, each employee is expected to work only 15 minutes extra for now.

In line with the global economic downturn, Toyota has cut production to adjust inventory. As a result, its factory workers have been given more days off while some production lines remain idle.

The new Prius hybrid has changed the situation at the two Aichi factories since it debuted May 18.

Despite its better fuel rating, it carries a price tag of ¥2.05 million, ¥280,000 lower than the previous version. The price is aimed directly at Honda Motor Co.’s Insight hybrid, whose basic model is available for ¥1.89 million.

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