Jaguar Land Rover is moving all production of its Discovery model to Slovakia, with job losses expected at the company’s Solihull plant as a result.
Currently manufactured across both sites, the Discovery will be wholly produced in Slovakia from next year. JLR says the move is part of a long-term strategy that will see Solihull focus on the company’s other models. Investment in the West-Midlands plant will also help it adapt to the expected uptick in demand for electric vehicles. JLR has previously stated that all its models will be available in hybrid and electric formats by 2020.
Despite the investment in the Solihull facility, job losses are expected, with agency workers believed to be most at risk. Agency staff make up 1,800 of the 10,000 strong workforce at Solihull. The news comes just two months after JLR announced that 1,000 temporary contract staff at Solihull were to be cut due to flagging sales caused by confusion over diesel and Brexit headwinds. It is expected that hundreds more agency staff will now be laid off as a result of the Discovery being fully offshored to the Continent.
In a brief statement issued on the company’s website, JLR said that losing UK staff would be ‘tough’, but that it remained committed to the UK.
“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 UK and to transformation and growth,” the statement read.
“The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and 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.”
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