September 9, 2009

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is hiring 1,300 workers in Thailand, the latest sign of a global auto recovery, coming a day after Toyota announced it was adding 800 employees in Japan.

Mitsubishi, Japan's fifth biggest automaker, said Wednesday it's hiring the workers for its two auto assembly plants and one engine plant in Thailand.

Mitsubishi, which had been battered by the global slump like other Japanese automakers, reduced its 1,100 temporary workers at its Thai plants in January and had no temporary workers in the country, company spokesman Yuki Murata said. Workers with previous experience will get preference in hiring, he said.

Ecological incentives introduced around the world have slowly lifted auto sales in recent months.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world's No. 1 automaker, said Tuesday it is hiring 800 contract workers in Japan in its first such job increase in more than a year amid signs of a global recovery led by brisk sales of its Prius hybrid.

Mitsubishi makes the Pajero sports-utility-vehicle, Triton pickup, Lancer sedan and other models in Thailand — some for export to the rest of Asia as well as to Brazil and the Middle East.

About a month ago, Tokyo-based Mitsubishi, which also makes the iMiEV electric car, said it was adding 350 temporary workers at its plant in Okazaki, central Japan, and 300 workers at another plant, in Mizushima, southwestern Japan.