Jaguar Land Rover moves Discovery production to Slovakia

Gladys Abbott
June 12, 2018

The shift to the recently opened Slovakian plant will result in several hundred job losses among agency workers, putting the company's previously stated concerns about Brexit in the spotlight.

Vidya RamJaguar Land Rover (JLR) is to move the entire production of its forthcoming Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia from the United Kingdom, in a major revamp of its manufacturing processes, British media reported on Monday.

Britain's biggest carmaker, which is owned by India's Tata Motors, said production will be moved early next year.

Monday's announcement comes after JLR said this year it will cut 1,000 jobs and reduce production at two of its English factories as demand for diesel cars slumps in the face of higher taxes and a regulatory crackdown.

The Discovery has been built in Solihull since it was launched in 1989.

The decision is due to the scale of a redevelopment needed at Solihull to cater for a completely new version of both the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport. While some agency-employed plant workers may lose their jobs, the decision to build electric cars at Solihull marks a major commitment to United Kingdom manufacturing amid uncertainty over Brexit.

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"This significant investment and technology upgrade in Solihull in order to accommodate our next-generation of flagship Land Rover models, and the refit of our Halewood plant for the next Evoque, is proof that we remain committed both to the United Kingdom and to transformation and growth".

However, the move has also been welcomed locally as a step for the manufacturer to upgrade the Solihull plant to build new, electric models.

The new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will however be built at the automaker's central English Solihull plant on an architecture which is created to allow for diesel, gasoline, electric and hybrid models to be produced.

Since then the company has revealed its profits were nearly cut in half in the fourth quarter as the car-maker was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation.

JLR's strategy is to build cars at multiple factories around the globe.

In 2014 the automaker started production outside the United Kingdom for the first time when versions of the Rover Range Rover Evoque started rolling out of a plant in China.

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