Land Rover to move Discovery production to Slovakia from Solihull

Daniel Fowler
June 12, 2018

Britain's biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc, is moving all production of its Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia from a plant near Birmingham, which will be retooled to accommodate a new generation of electric cars.

The vehicle is now produced at a plant in Solihull, in the West Midlands.

Jaguar Land Rover has said all new models will be electrified from 2020, though a spokesman wouldn't confirm whether the Range Rover models to be produced at Solihull will be made in all-electric versions.

It stressed that it remains committed to the United Kingdom as it outlined plans to invest hundreds of millions in upgrading its plants in Solihull and Halewood to build to the next versions of hybrid and electric Range Rover models.

Two years ago the firm, owned by India's Tata Motors, insisted that its new Slovakia plant would "complement" its United Kingdom operations, with the Discovery built in both locations. These will be the next Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which will be built on an all-new architecture.

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Although the livelihoods of many of these agency workers are under threat, JLR said the decision to upgrade its factories in Solihull and Halewood should safeguard the future these plants and the vast majority of its work force.

The company warned that there may be some job losses in the United Kingdom as a result.

Jaguar Land Rover first announced its intention to begin production of the Discovery in Slovakia in 2016, but did not mention at the time that the process could involve the migration of the model's entire UK-based production line. It already employs 1,400 people there as it gears up to open.

Last month, the company - which is owned by India's Tata Motors, said fourth-quarter pre-tax profit halved to £364million on revenues of £7.6billion.

The company has also blamed Brexit for hitting demand in Europe's second-largest autos market, where demand fell 6 percent a year ago, a source told Reuters in April. Also our latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models, including plug-in hybrid options, have been performing particularly well in key markets.

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