Hundreds of jobs at risk as Jaguar Land Rover moves Discovery production to Slovakia
British carmaker says it needs to free up space at UK plant to build ‘next generation’ models
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced plans to move production of the Discovery off-roader from its West Midlands plant to Slovakia, putting “hundreds” of jobs at risk.
The British car manufacturer is expected to shift Discovery production from the Solihull factory to its newly built plant in the Slovakian city of Nitra by early next year, reports The Independent.
Company insiders told the news site that workers had not been informed about the potential jobs cuts before the move to Eastern Europe was announced.
A JLR spokesperson said today that the decision to relocate, with “potential losses of some agency-employed staff”, had been “a tough one”, but that the move was necessary to make room for building the “next generation of flagship Land Rover models”.
These models will include a possible “family of electrified and electric” cars, including the upcoming Jaguar XJ saloon and Range Rover EV, according to Autocar.
The carmaker is believed to be investing hundreds of millions in the Solihull facility to accommodate the new cars, the magazine adds.
News of the latest job cuts comes just months after the company, owned by Indian vehicle giant Tata, axed 1,000 roles at its Castle Bromwich and Solihull factories, amid poor sales figures blamed on the uncertainty around Brexit and the future of diesel cars.
The manufacturing shake-up should benefit JLR in the long-term, by enabling the firm to produce cleaner electric vehicles.
Professor of industrial strategy David Bailey, from the University of Aston, told The Guardian: “If this move on the Discovery means producing electric cars here, overall that is a good thing.”
“JLR have been too slow in getting into hybrids and they have to speed up in getting fully into electric vehicles”, he added.