Dura Automotive is to open a manufacturing plant in Timisoara, Romania.

The facility will produce a broad range of automotive components for automakers in Central and Eastern Europe. Groundbreaking will begin this month, with production to start in 2005.

"Opening a facility in Romania is a continuation of our growth strategy with automakers expanding operations throughout Eastern Europe," said Larry Denton, president and chief executive officer.

The initial 50,000-square-foot Timisoara facility is the first phase of a four-phase plan that will be supported by new business contracts to produce automotive driver control systems and body and glass systems. This will be the fifth Dura plant based in Central/Eastern Europe; it currently has three operations in the Czech Republic and a fourth facility in Slovakia.

Automakers with current or announced manufacturing operations in the Central/Eastern Europe region include Avtovaz, BMW, Dacia, Daewoo, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, PSA, Renault-Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota and Volkswagen.