Toyota To Hire Temporary Workers At U.S. Plant

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. plans to hire an unspecified number of temporary workers at a West Virginia plant to meet an anticipated increase in demand.

Toyota produces engines in Buffalo for the Corolla, which is the top-selling new model under the federal government's "cash for clunkers" program.

The program offers up to a $4,500 rebate to those who trade in older, less-efficient vehicles for new ones that get better gas mileage. The program got $2 billion in additional funding from the federal government last week.

"It is very possible that this is a short-term situation which we will monitor closely and make adjustments as needed," Sandra Maynard, a spokeswoman for Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, said in a statement.

The statement didn't specify how many workers would be hired. A message left at Toyota by The Associated Press wasn't immediately returned Wednesday night.

The Buffalo plant, which opened in 1996 and employs about 1,100 workers, produces four and six-cylinder engines for Toyota and Lexus. It also produces automatic transmissions and automatic transmission gears.

Last month, Toyota announced the Buffalo plant would begin producing engines for the Highlander sport utility vehicle in the fall.

The plant laid off 120 part-time workers in December and scheduled non-production days to reduce inventory due to the recession.

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