Ford will begin production at its new Craiova plant in southern Romania on 8 September.

Ford Europe bought the former Daewoo manufacturing plant in Craiova in March 2008, promising to spend EUR675m (US$967m) modernising it to produce some 300,000 vehicles annually, as well as 300,000 engines from 2011.

The US firm also pledged to keep the plant's 3,900 employees for four years.

Ford will start building the Transit Connect model (also made in Turkey) at Craiova before launching a new model in 2010.

It recently began exporting Turkish Connects to the US and will launch an electric version with UK-developed Smiths Industries drivetrain there next year.