Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Friday it plans to resume a second shift at its San Antonio, Texas plant in February for the first time since August 2008, adding production of Tundra full-size pickup trucks.
The move comes after Toyota had reduced its Tundra inventory to below 45 days of supply, and as the automaker prepares to move the production of its smaller Tacoma pickup to the Texas plant from a California plant that is slated to close next year, spokesman Mike Goss said.
About 850 full-time and temporary workers will be hired to join the second shift, Goss added. The plant has about 2,000 employees.
Toyota had idled the Texas plant from August to November in 2008 as sales of gas-thirsty trucks and SUVs plummeted in the wake of soaring gasoline prices. The plant resumed production on one shift in November last year.
The Texas plant will also begin to build Tacoma trucks in July 2010. Toyota has decided to close a plant in California, known as NUMMI -- the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc -- which was a joint venture with General Motors Co GM.UL.
The plant, which builds Tacoma trucks and Corolla sedans, is slated to close in March.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Richard Chang)