Toyota is to resume overtime work at two Aichi Prefecture factories for the first time in six months to boost production of the Prius hybrid due to strong demand, company officials said on Wednesday.

Toyota has decided to boost production of the Prius from its initial plan of 42,000 to 43,000 units per month to around 50,000 units, they told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

To meet the increase, the company will ask employees to work overtime at two factories producing the Prius -- one in Toyota city another at Toyota Auto Body, a major affiliated parts maker, in the nearby city of Kariya.

However, since the subcontractor's capacity to supply parts is limited, for now, each employee is expected to only work an extra 15 minutes over their usual working hours, the officials told AFP.

Toyota launched its third generation Prius in Japan on 18 May. Helped by a lower price than earlier models and by the government's tax break programme for environmentally friendly cars, it has been popular, receiving orders of more than 110,000 units, the officials said.

''The popularity (of Prius) at [dealerships] is far exceeding our expectations,'' a Toyota press officer told AFP. ''We want to speed up in raising our output to respond to our customers' requests.''

The report noted that Toyota this month eased its policy to reduce output and suspend operations after making progress in inventory adjustment.

Amid the global economic downturn that has seen auto sales plummet, Toyota since January had been trimming its production, suspending operations at all of its Japanese factories, AFP added.