Jaguar Land Rover to Move Discovery SUV Production to Slovakia

Jaguar Land Rover Moving Discovery Production To Slovakia

The company said the switch, ending 30 years of Discovery production at the West Midlands factory, will take place in early 2019 and that agency workers are most at risk from the decision.

JLR said in January it would decide this year whether to build electric cars in its home market after announcing all of its new cars will be available in an electric or hybrid version from 2020.

The move is likely to result in Britain's biggest vehicle maker cutting agency staff at the plant near Birmingham as part of a manufacturing shake-up which is due to take effect from early next year as the European site at Nitra comes on line.

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

Fundamentally, the technology upgrade in Solihull will account for a third of the plant.

"The new, award winning Range Rover Velar was an important contributor".

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The company said in 2016 that it would assemble Discovery SUVs in Slovakia once a new plant there came on line, without revealing that all production of the model - which was redesigned in 2017 - would be moved out of the U.K. It also has an agreement with Magna Steyr, a unit of Magna Inc., to build the Jaguar E-Pace and all-electric I-Pace models in Austria.

The company is grappling with slumping demand for diesel vehicles in the U.K. Sales in the country fell 12.8 percent in the year to March amid consumer uncertainty about Brexit and nervousness about buying diesel cars, though sales grew in China and the U.S.

The group saw pre-tax profit slump to £364million in the three months to March 31, down from £676million in the same period past year. The biggest plant in the company, it now employs 9,000 people.

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.

In the United Kingdom, the company said it was "impacted by consumer uncertainty surrounding diesel models, Brexit and vehicle taxation".

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