Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has announced more support for the recovery of Japan’s Tohoku region in the north east which was hardest hit by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

TMC’s Kokoro Hakobu Project, announced earlier, will be broadened with "enhanced social-contribution activities", a stronger commitment to Tohoku manufacturing, including on-site power generation, and the provision of hybrid vehicles as auxiliary sources of electric power.

The automaker last week said three subsidiaries operating in Tohoku - Kanto Auto Works, Central Motor and Toyota Motor Tohoku Corporation - would begin discussions on consolidation, with the resulting entity specialising in compact vehicles and functioning as a semiautonomous unit that would handle the entire range of vehicle manufacturing, from R&D to production, as well as procurement and production related to engines and other vital components.

TMC has now confirmed one of the vehicle models to be produced in Tohoku will be "a highly anticipated small hybrid vehicle that will be a core member of TMC’s lineup of environment friendly vehicles", PR-speak for the Prius C shown at Detroit at the beginning of the year.

On site electrical generating capacity at Tohoku operations will begin with the installation of an eight megawatt generating capacity at what is now Central Motor’s Miyagi Plant, sufficient to supply about 90% of the plant’s electric power demand when needed. Toyota will also study the potential for tapping renewable energies at its Tohoku operations and for installing systems to optimise electrical supply and demand.

Toyota will also widen availability of a system that allows smaller appliances to be powered by its petrol-electric hybrids and offer technical training to students at local schools at its various facilities in the region.