Toyota will hire around 300 contract [temporary] workers in Japan from mid-March to mid-April because new car sales are exceeding expectations, company officials said.

This will be the first time the automaker has hired contract workers since June last year and comes amid brisk sales of cars including the redesigned Crown luxury sedan that hit the market in late December.

The number of contract workers at Toyota totaled some 2,200 at 31 January, Kyodo News said.

The company plans to turn out 1,000 more vehicles per day compared with its earlier projection to boost daily output to about 13,000 units in April.

It is also considering raising its domestic sales projection for this year. Last December it said it expected to sell 1.4m vehicles in Japan, down nearly 20% year on year, due to the end to the government subsidy programme for eco-friendly car purchases in December.