► JLR strikes deal for Slovak factory
► Part of plan to reduce costs
► 30,000 cars a year from 2018
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has struck a deal with the Slovak government to build cars in eastern Europe from 2018. The site beat competition from rival factory locations in the US, Mexico and elsewhere in Europe, the company said.
It's part of a plan to drive the company's global footprint - and reduce its cost base. Building cars solely in the UK is an expensive business, after all.
The letter of intent, announced today, details a plan to build a factory in Nitra in western Slovakia, near the country's established automotive supply chain. It is planned to have a capacity of 300,000 aluminium-bodied vehicles over the next decade. JLR is completing its feasability study and will announce the final decision at the end of 2015.
Which cars will JLR build in Slovakia?
No word yet, but the company revealed it would be 'a range of aluminium Jaguar Land Rover products.' JLR is busy diversifying its plant capacity to better reflect where it sells cars. With the Slovak announcement, it will shortly build cars in the following locations outside its three UK sites in Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull:
- India Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar XF and XJ
- Brazil (from early 2016) Land Rover Discovery Sport
- China (JV with Chery) Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport
- Austria Contract manufacturing deal struck with Magna Steyr
JLR has invested more than £11 billion in new products and capital spend on factories in the past five years, growing staff from 20,000 to 36,000. CEO Ralf Speth said: ‘The expansion of our business globally is essential to support its long-term, resilient growth. As well as creating additional capacity, it allows us to invest in the development of more new vehicles and technologies. With its established premium automotive industry, Slovakia is an attractive potential development opportunity for us. The new factory will complement our existing facilities in the UK, China, India and the one under construction in Brazil.’