Mitsubishi Motors is hiring 1,300 workers in Thailand as the battered new vehicle market slowly recovers from its slump.

The company shed 1,100 temporary workers at its Thai plants at the end of January as it curbed output due to a drop in sales during the global economic downturn. Now it plans to resume two-shift production at three plants, having reduced its stockpiles of unsold vehicles, helped by robust exports to southeast Asian markets.

Japanese automakers have said they see glimmers of hope for a recovery thanks to government incentives globally and the growing popularity of fuel-efficient cars.

Toyota said earlier this week that it was recruiting about 800 temporary workers in Japan – its first such hirings in more than a year.