About 200 companies that have dealings with Toyota Motor East Japan are launching a cooperative in the firm's Tohoku foothold as soon as this month.

Suppliers of Toyota parts as well as local equipment manufacturers are expected to join the co-op, the Nikkei reported.

Toyota Motor East Japan was created last July through the merger of Kanto Auto Works, Central Motor and Toyota Motor Tohoku. It is central to Toyota Motor's plans to make the Tohoku region a hub for production of compact vehicles. But the regional procurement rate there is low compared with the Chubu region where auto-related production is concentrated, the business daily noted.

Partnering with the co-op will let Toyota share development and procurement information and facilitate technology exchanges among participating firms to build a new supply network in the region. Toyota has also partnered with other organisations, such as a group of more than 200 components makers and another composed of equipment manufacturers.