New factory of Jaguar Land Rover in Slovakia

Slovakia will be the host of the first European plant of Jaguar Land Rover outside the United Kingdom. The company plans to build a factory there as a part of their plan for rapid growth and stepping in front of their class competitors. JLR’s three factories and one engine plant in the UK have been running close to their optimum capacity for the last two years. It is targeted that 500 000 vehicles would be sold by the end of 2015, which means 40 000 more than those produced last year. The company confirmed commitment to developing their production in the United Kingdom as a part of their traditional dedication to the local market. According to Ralph Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, “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.” The signing of the intent letter with the government of Slovakia for building the new plant follows the opening of factories in Brazil and China. This shift in strategy with focus on emerging markets, was justified by the company as a way to access new markets and was claimed not to aim primarily for cost optimization. China became the company’s biggest market in 2013. In the bids for the new factory Slovakia competed with Mexico, Hungary and Poland. The plant would be built in the western city of Nitra and is expected to bring thousands of new working places locally. It is planned to start production in 2018 with targeted volume of 300 000 vehicles per year. This would be JLR’s first factory in Eastern Europe where premium carmakers (like Porsche) have already launched production in the past.