GREENSBURG, Indiana (AP) -- Honda is about ready to start up a second production shift at its southeastern Indiana factory after hiring nearly 1,000 new employees.

The company says it expects to begin the new shift at the Greensburg factory on Oct. 24 in a move that will double the plant's annual production to 200,000 vehicles.

Part of that additional output will include a new Civic that runs on natural gas. Honda says the factory began mass production of the alternative-fuel Civics on Tuesday, using engines from the company's plant in Anna, Ohio.

Honda had announced plans in May for additional shift in Greensburg. The company said it had expected that production level since the factory opened in 2008, but that those plans were delayed by the recession.

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