VIENNA – General Motors Mfg. Poland Sp. z o.o. reintroduces a third production shift at its plant in Gliwice.

The factory went to two shifts in January 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis. The plant has hired 630 temporary employees to work the extra shift.

The production increase at Gliwice is driven by the market success of the new, fourth-generation Opel Astra hatchback, manufactured in Poland, as well as at General Motors Co.’s U.K. plant in Ellesmere Port.

GM Poland also produces the third-generation Astra sedan and Zafira multipurpose vehicle.

While there is no official forecast for output at Gliwice this year, Polish press reports suggest the plant will produce more than 160,000 vehicles.

Last year, the factory built 96,697 cars, down 43.6% from 2008.

In related news, Adam Opel GmbH says in a statement it will increase production this year of its Corsa small car by 16,000 units, beginning immediately.

Opel’s plant in Eisenach, Germany, will build 9,000 additional units, while another 7,000 more than initially targeted will come from the auto maker’s Zaragoza, Spain, facility.