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Honda gearing up to meet growing demand

HONDA Motor Co is stepping up production and bringing back overtime at its Japanese plants in response to solid demand for its small cars and hybrids, the auto maker said yesterday.

Honda will have workers come in at weekends at its Saitama plant this month for the first time since the financial crisis.

And the Saitama plant, in a Tokyo suburb, is returning to a double-shift at one of its two assembly lines in August, because of the solid demand in Japan for the Freed hatchback, boosting production there to 1,450 vehicles a day from 1,100.

Before the slump, the plant had two shifts at both its lines. The latest move underlines signs of a gradual recovery at Honda, which has been riding out the slump relatively better than its bigger Japanese rival, Toyota Motor Corp.

Honda is also having workers do overtime at another Japanese plant, in Suzuka, which makes the popular Insight hybrid, as well as the Fit subcompact.


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