2010 Toyota Prius - Click above for high-res image gallery

It seems hard to believe that Toyota, the World's Largest Automaker, hasn't had to hired any new contract workers in over a year, but it's apparently true. That unenviable record is about to be broken, though, as the Japanese automaker is reportedly set to hire 800 new contract workers at its Tsutsumi plant in central Japan.

Not surprisingly, its the redesigned 2010 Prius hatchback that's driving Toyota's hiring efforts. All told, Toyota sold 21,669 Prius hybrids in Japan last month, again making the fuel-sipper the best selling nameplate in Toyota's home market. By way of comparison, the Prius is the 14th best selling model here in the States.

Fuel efficiency has become a major selling point in Japan as the government has rolled out a series of incentives and high taxes on gasoline in an effort to spur sales of hybrid cars. Coming in after the Prius was the Honda Fit, followed by the Toyota Vitz (Yaris in the States). Honda sold 7,900 of these in August, making it the fourth best seller in Japan.

[Source: Detroit Free Press, AP via Google]

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