Tata Motors-owned British automaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has signed a Letter of Intent to open a new manufacturing facility in the city of Nitra in western Slovakia. This is another step taken by JLR to increase its production operations in the overseas markets. It already has manufacturing facilities in China (joint-venture with Chery) and India, while the one in Brazil is under construction.
The company scrutinized a number of other locations in Europe, the United States and Mexico. However, Slovakia was chosen because the premium automotive industry in the country is well established. Moreover, the country is close to a strong supply chain and good logistics infrastructure.
Dr Ralf Speth, CEO at JLR, 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, which supports jobs in the UK.”
Mr. Speth further added: “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.”
The UK is the cornerstone of JLR’s business. It’s total workforce stands at 36,000 over there and the company has invested more than £11 billion in new product creation and capital expenditure over the last five years. JLR hopes that its new facility in Slovakia will be able to produce up to 300,000 vehicles over the next decade. The first vehicle is expected to come off the production line in 2018.
Commenting on the deal Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia stated:”The Slovakian Government is delighted to be selected as Jaguar Land Rover’s preferred location for this feasibility study. We are committed to developing Slovakia’s premium automotive industry and, should we be successful, this investment would represent a significant step forward in achieving this. It would provide a boost to our country’s wider industrial strategy as well as benefitting the European Union as a whole.”
In 2015/16, JLR will spend £3.5 billion on new vehicles and launch 12 new products from its UK plant, including the F-Pace crossover.
More information is available in the press release below.