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NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. will resume weekend production in July to meet strong demand for the remodeled Prius hybrid car, company officials said Saturday.

Toyota resumed overtime work in June but has decided it needs to operate its Prius plant in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, on July 11 to catch up with brisk demand for the gasoline-electric car, the officials said. Toyota canceled weekend work hours last December.

“We’d like to improve as soon as possible the situation where purchasers are waiting for delivery,” a Toyota official said.

Orders for the car, unveiled in May, have already hit 200,000 so far. The new cars are expected to be delivered in February, at the earliest.

Weekend production had been suspended as part of efforts to adjust output to deal with the global depression in the automobile market.

Toyota Auto Body Co., a Toyota manufacturing unit, will also operate its plant in the city of Kariya on July 11 and its plant in Inabe, Mie Prefecture, on July 4 and 11, the officials said.

The Kariya plant, which is also in Aichi, produces the new Prius, while the Inabe factory manufactures the Alphard and Vellfire minivans.

The Alphard and Vellfire are selling well.

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