Jaguar Land Rover will build its first European plant outside the United Kingdom in Nitra, Slovakia
JLR will become the first British carmaker to open a manufacturing facility in Slovakia, the country with the highest car production per capita in the world. Jaguar Land Rover will start building a new "£1 billion premium manufacturing facility" in 2016. Around 2,800 people will work in the factory when it becomes operational in late 2018.
"Jaguar Land Rover is delighted today to welcome Slovakia into our family. The new factory will complement our existing facilities in the UK, China, India and Brazil and marks the next step in the company's strategy to become a truly global business," said JLR CEO, Dr Ralf Speth.
Slovakia was a natural choice for JLR, thanks to its established premium automotive sector, which makes up 43 percent of the country's overall industry. Jaguar Land Rover's future plant has more than 300 suppliers nearby and "an excellent logistics infrastructure," according to the automaker. Jaguar Land Rover also considered other European countries, United States and Mexico for its next manufacturing site.
The new plant will have an initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles when the first units roll off the assembly line in Nitra in late 2018. The automaker said it will build "a range of all-new aluminum Jaguar Land Rover vehicles" in Slovakia. While no details about the particular models were offered, recent rumors have it that one of the candidates is the next-generation Land Rover Defender.