Jaguar Land Rover Moves Closer to Building Slovakia Plant
14 Août 2015 - Autoblog
Jaguar Land Rover has announced its intention to build a new assembly plant in Slovakia. Though it has yet to make the final decision, the British automaker has signed a Letter of Intent with the Slovakian government. Its next step is to launch a feasibility study before committing.
If the company does go ahead with plans, it wouldn't be the first automaker – or even the first European luxury automaker for that matter – to start producing in Slovakia. Nor would it be the first Jaguar Land Rover plant outside the UK, either. The Volkswagen Group, PSA Peugeot Citroën, and Kia all manufacture in the Central European country. VW's Bratislava plant in particular handles production of the Touareg, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne.
In the past few years, JLR has expanded its production capacity to new locations outside of the UK. It has a new factory in China, one under construction in Brazil, and has been manufacturing in India – home country of its parent company Tata – since 2011. It recently announced a manufacturing contract with Magna Steyr in Austria, and is investing in its facilities back home as well.
Though yet to be finalized, the prospect of manufacturing in Slovakia has proven more favorable to JLR than other locations in Europe or in the United States or Mexico – all possibilities that the company says it looked into. It has yet to reveal just what it would produce there, saying only that "the plant would manufacture a range of aluminium Jaguar Land Rover vehicles," that the plant would be earmarked to come online in 2018 and eventually ramp up production to 300,000 vehicles. The prevailing wisdom would seem to indicate, however, that the site is being considered for the next-generation Land Rover Defender.