Jaguar Land Rover has started construction of its new manufacturing facility in Slovakia. The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Robert Fico and Andy Garth, UK Ambassador to Slovakia.
Jaguar Land Rover continues to lead the automotive industry in the development of advanced lightweight technologies. The new 300,000m² factory will be at the forefront of aluminium manufacturing and engineering expertise in Slovakia. It will manufacture a range of all-new aluminium Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, supporting the company’s on-going commitment to deliver high-tech lightweight cars to its customers.
Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, said:
The start of construction in Slovakia today represents the beginning of a new phase in our plan to create a truly global business. The factory will strengthen our international manufacturing capabilities as well as complement our existing facilities in the UK, China, India and Brazil.
The £1 billion plant will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles and the first cars are expected to come off the production line in late 2018. It incorporates cutting-edge current manufacturing technologies and it is the first in Europe to use Kuka’s Pulse carrier system which is 30% faster than conventional conveyance systems. It will also feature a highly automated paint shop process to ensure the highest quality and to minimise the environmental impact. Looking to the future, the factory has been designed with the flexibility to enable smart, connected manufacturing technologies which will support improved process efficiency, delivery and quality.
The plant will include a range of environmental measures, such as water saving devices and heat recovery systems, to ensure sustainable and efficient operations.
Since Jaguar Land Rover confirmed its plans in Slovakia, more than 40,000 people have registered their interest in working at the new plant. When fully operational, the plant will employ 2,800 people and wide-scale recruitment will start towards the end of 2017.
Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia said:
The Jaguar Land Rover investment confirms that Slovakia is a good place to do business and an investment of such magnitude will have a positive ripple effect not only for the region of Nitra, but also for the whole of Slovakia.
Working with local communities
Jaguar Land Rover works closely with the communities near to its manufacturing plants around the world and, whilst construction is just starting in Slovakia, the company has already started to establish links with the local neighbourhoods in Nitra and the surrounding area.
Over the course of the next two years, Jaguar Land Rover will work with local organisations to create new education programmes to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers by bringing the world of work to life as well as increasing awareness of the range of careers available to young people.
In addition, it will introduce programmes to offer work experience, training and employability qualifications for people who are unemployed to prepare them for roles in the automotive industry.
Global manufacturing strategy
The UK is the cornerstone of Jaguar Land Rover’s business and remains at the centre of Jaguar Land Rover’s design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Over the past five years, Jaguar Land Rover has employed more than 20,000 people taking its workforce to almost 40,000. It has invested more than £12 billion in new product creation and capital expenditure.
During this time, the Company has invested heavily in its UK vehicle manufacturing facilities at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull to support the introduction of all-new vehicles such as the Jaguar XE, Jaguar F-PACE, Range Rover Evoque Convertible and Land Rover Discovery Sport. It has doubled its investment in its engine plant in the UK to almost £1 billion – the largest injection into a new British manufacturing plant in decades creating several hundred new jobs.
Jaguar Land Rover has plans to expand its advanced engineering and design centre at Whitley, Coventry and invest in the National Automotive Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick. Jaguar Land Rover’s sustained investment supports the delivery of the UK’s wider industrial strategy.
With plans already in place to take Jaguar Land Rover’s three vehicle manufacturing plants in the UK close to their operating capacity, the creation of overseas manufacturing facilities delivers additional volumes needed to support the company’s future strategy. It allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new models, protect against currency fluctuations as well as building a globally competitive business.
Jaguar Land Rover confirmed plans for its first overseas manufacturing plant in 2012 when it signed a joint venture agreement with Chery Automobile Company Ltd in China. Since then, it has started production of the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery and the Jaguar XFL in China; opened its plant in Brazil; agreed a new contract manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr in Austria and introduced three new vehicles to its local assembly facility in India.
Jaguar Land Rover in mainland Europe
Europe has the largest number of Jaguar Land Rover retailers with almost 900 outlets across 47 countries. Since the beginning of 2016, Jaguar Land Rover has sold more than 85,000 vehicles in Europe. Last year, it sold more than 110,000 vehicles in the region making it Jaguar Land Rover’s most successful year in Europe this century.