Land Rover moving production of Discovery SUV from UK to Slovakia

Jaguar Land Rover is relocating production of the Discovery SUV from the West Midlands in England to Slovakia from next year.

The company said that its Solihull factory will instead be used to produce the new generation of Range Rovers.

Production at the Slovakia plant was originally meant to compliment production at its Solihull plant.

Jaguar Land Rover, a subsidiary of Indian automaker Tata Motors, has its headquarters in Whitley, Coventry.

However, there may be some job losses as a result of the change, the company said. There are currently 1,800 JLR at the Solihull factory.

JLR’s Slovakia plant is slated to open in late 2018.

JLR which remains “committed to the UK”, said in a statement: “The potential losses of some agency employed staff in the UK is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally,”

According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the matter said JLR is investing millions of pounds into its Solihull plant for the production of cars in electric, gasoline and diesel versions.

“This significant investment and technology upgrade in Solihull in order to accommodate our next-generation of flagship Land Rover models, and the refit of our Halewood plant for the next Evoque, is proof that we remain committed both to the U.K. and to transformation and growth,” Jaguar Land Rover told Bloomberg by email.

Steve McCabe, business expert at Birmingham City University, told the BBC that the “silver lining” of the announcement was that production of electric vehicles would be increased at the Solihull factory.

“But at the same time, we can talk about the statistics and the numbers of jobs lost, but for many families this news will be truly devastating.

“Every day we seem to hear more about job losses and closures and as Brexit moves closer and closer in the horizon, it’ll be even more difficult to predict where we will be in a year’s time,” he added.