Business

Jaguar Land Rover to move production of Discovery from United Kingdom to Slovakia

Jaguar Land Rover to move production of Discovery from United Kingdom to Slovakia

"The potential losses of some agency employed staff in the United Kingdom is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally", the company said in a statement.

The Indian-owned firm has previously said all of its cars will be available in an electric or hybrid version from 2020, indicating the new Range Rover models could be the first greener vehicle the company builds in Britain.

The Discovery has been made at Solihull since it was first launched by Land Rover in 1989 and is now in its fifth generation.

While a blow for United Kingdom manufacturing, Land Rover is adamant that it's committed to working in the United Kingdom - and the production switch will actually mean further reinvestment in the Solihull plant.

We first got to know in 2015, that Jaguar Land Rover talked about expanding its global footprint with a manufacturing plant in Slovakia.

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.

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In April, JLR announced a temporary cut in production and job losses at its Solihull and Castle Bromwich plants, pointing to "continuing headwinds" facing the vehicle industry.

A JLR spokesman said: 'The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency employed staff in the United Kingdom is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally'. It already employs 1,400 people there as it gears up to open.

In May, JLR announced a slight fall in pre-tax profits for the year ending in March (while pre tax profits for the quarter ending March fell sharply), pointing to "external headwinds".

He added: '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 we remain committed both to the United Kingdom and to transformation and growth'.

The company has also blamed Brexit for hitting demand in Europe's second-largest autos market, where demand fell 6 percent previous year, a source told Reuters in April.

The manufacturer said the new Range Rover Velar, the Jaguar E-PACE and the Land Rover Discovery helped it sell 48,281 vehicles during the month, a 6.1 per cent rise on the same period in 2017. The next-generation Defender is also set to the built there, given its relationship to the Discovery's underpinnings and the lower production costs.


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