Renault plans to invest around EUR100m over the next two years in Renault Technologies Romania (RTR), a regional engineering centre developing vehicles and powertrains to be made at regional plants or sold in central and eastern Europe, Turkey, Russia and North Africa.

RTR will employ around 3,000 people by the end of 2009 and, along with other regional engineering centres in Brazil and Korea, will be supporting Renault’s ambitious international development programme, under which 26 new models are to be released by 2009.

Renault Technologies Romania operates under the Renault Engineering global function, whose development workload extends to eight new models per year, as a key feature of the Renault Commitment 2009 plan.

Renault Engineering is a worldwide function with two main components: a central engineering department plus regional engineering centres covering Renault’s strategic markets. This organisation implements standardised engineering processes worldwide, with common technical standards, precisely defined key functions, and harmonised technical policies.

Regional engineering centres develop powertrain and vehicle projects (passenger cars and LCVs) for regional markets, provide technical support for regional production plants and support on local parts purchasing in cost-competitive countries, for local and international production.

With high-growth automotive markets shifting outside western Europe, competitive performance calls for closer contact with local customers. Regional engineering teams will have a better understanding of customers’ needs and vehicle usage conditions in local markets, and will be better able to involve local suppliers directly, from the product design phase onwards, Renault said.

RTR will mainly accommodate engineering functions (design and testing), along with purchasing, design and support (management, human resources, IT) functions.

RTR will handle development of powertrain and vehicle projects to be made at regional production plants or sold on Euromed regional markets. This includes vehicles based on the Logan platform. RTR is currently working with Renault’s western European engineering team on a number of vehicle projects. It will eventually become the engineering hub for all vehicles developed on the Logan platform.

RTR will be split across three sites: Bucharest: design offices (workforce 1,900); Pitesti: engineering services at body assembly and powertrain plants (workforce 500) and the test centre scheduled for startup in the second half of 2009 (workforce 500).

Renault plans to create 1600 jobs in vehicle engineering, powertrain engineering and support functions. It will be recruiting mainly engineers, along with young graduates in various disciplines and other people with relevant experience. RTR will eventually employ around 3,000 people.

The French automaker said is an ideal choice for siting Renault’s regional engineering centre. It enjoys a central location in the high-growth Euromed region (eastern Europe, Russia, North Africa, Turkey), a strategic market for Renault. The Renault group also leads the Romanian market with its Dacia brand and Renault group itself has a solid base in the country, in the form of its production facility at Pitesti, with body assembly plant, powertrain plant and logistics.

In Romania, the Renault group has stimulated development of a fast-expanding suppliers network and the country offers the automaker a qualified workforce with a good level of university education, and sound partnerships with national authorities and institutes.