Renault has started construction of a new technical centre in Romania that will employ around 3,000 engineers by the end of 2009.

The centre will be located in Titu and is part of Renault's EUR450m regional R&D centre called Renault Technologie Roumanie (RTR), which also has engineers in Bucarest and at the Dacia plant in Pitesti.

Renault has invested a total of around 1.4bn euros in Romania, and the total figure is expected to have risen to 2.2bn in the next few years. 230,000 cars were produced at the Pitesti plant in Romania in 2007 but capacity is currently being increased to between 350,000 and 400,000 by the end of 2009. Around two thirds of the cars produced are exported.

The Titu technical centre will be Renault's largest outside of France, and will cover a total area of 330 hectares. It will have more than 30km of test roads and 100 test rigs and simulators for cars and parts. In addition there will be laboratories for material engineers and 80,000 sq m of workshops.

The centre will focus on R&D for cars and engines for emerging markets, including developing the next model on the low-cost Logan platform.