Mitsubishi Motors on Monday said it would double the number of workers at a plant it had earmarked for closing, as it plans to introduce three new models by next spring.

A spokesman told Reuters the car maker would switch to two shifts from a single shift at its Okazaki plant in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, and hire 500 to 600 people, bringing the total work force to about 1,300 by the end of this year. The company reportedly also plans to turn to a two-shift operation from a single shift at another plant in Gifu prefecture, central Japan.

Reuters noted that Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Motors said last year it would close its Okazaki plant as part of its restructuring. But, underscoring healthy domestic sales of the [recently fully redesigned] Outlander sport utility vehicle, the restructuring automaker said last April it would continue operations at the plant, producing the model along with another Japanese factory that is running at full capacity.