Jobs at risk as JLR confirms Discovery switch to Slovakia

The Land Rover Discovery is set to be moved from production near Birmingham by the beginning of 2019

The Land Rover Discovery is set to be moved from production near Birmingham by the beginning of 2019

JLR have said the decision to move production and the "potential" job losses was a "tough" decision to make.

A JLR spokesman said: 'The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency employed staff in the United Kingdom is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally'.

Britain's biggest carmaker, which is owned by India's Tata Motors, said production will be moved early next year.

A JLR statement also detailed plans for a refit at the Halewood production facility in Liverpool ahead of the next Range Rover Evoque's launch next year - meaning the entry-level Range Rover will continue to be produced at the plant.

The decision is due to the scale of a redevelopment needed at Solihull to cater for a completely new version of both the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport.

The British report added that although Land Rover had yet to indicate whether the upcoming second-generation Evoque would be offered in coupé guise, this latest development suggested it "almost certainly" wouldn't be.

The announcement comes just two months after the company revealed it was axing 1,000 agency workers at Solihull after a slowdown in production.

The Solihull factory, where the Discovery is manufactured, will be used to build a new generation of Range Rover models, the firm said.

"The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency employed staff in the United Kingdom is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally", the firm added in a statement. It already employs 1,400 people there as it gears up to open.

It stressed that it remains committed to the United Kingdom as it outlined plans to invest hundreds of millions in upgrading its plants in Solihull and Halewood to build to the next versions of hybrid and electric Range Rover models.

In 2014 the automaker started production outside the United Kingdom for the first time when versions of the Rover Range Rover Evoque started rolling out of a plant in China. Sales for the Jaguar E-PACE also continue to ramp up and we look forward to retails of this exciting sporty compact SUV beginning in China in August.

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