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Land Rover to move Discovery production to Slovakia from Solihull

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Land Rover is moving Discovery production from the UK to its new factory in Nitra Slovakia

With the manufacturing facility set to start later this year and the company has already announced that it is set to move all production of its Discovery auto to Slovakia before building its new Range Rover at an English factory.

The company said the switch will take place early next year and that agency workers are most under threat of losing their jobs.

In 2016, the company said it would produce Discovery models in Slovakia. While some agency-employed plant workers may lose their jobs, the decision to build electric cars at Solihull marks a major commitment to United Kingdom manufacturing amid uncertainty over Brexit.

Last month, the company - which is owned by India's Tata Motors, said fourth-quarter pre-tax profit halved to £364million on revenues of £7.6billion.

Alongside this, JLR says "a significant investment and technology upgrade" in Solihull will prepare the plant for other new and upcoming Land Rover models.

"The new, award winning Range Rover Velar was an important contributor". It is possible a new family of electrified and electric JLR cars coming from next year, including the relaunched XJ and Range Rover EV, codenamed Road Rover and expected to be launched before the start of the next decade, could be built at the plant, as part of JLR's desire to build electric cars in the UK. The Discovery makes up around 10% of Land Rover's total sales.

Land Rover moves all Discovery production to Slovakia
Land Rover is moving Discovery production from the UK to its new factory in Nitra Slovakia The new Jaguar Land Rover factory in Nitra Slovakia

It has not put an exact figure on the level of investment in the Solihull plant, but it runs into hundreds of millions of pounds. It means the company's Solihull and Halewood plants will remain at the cutting-edge of its long-term strategy.

Since then the company has revealed its profits were nearly cut in half in the fourth quarter as the car-maker was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation.

However, the move has also been welcomed locally as a step for the manufacturer to upgrade the Solihull plant to build new, electric models.

The firm said it was a "tough" decision but it will allow it to slash costs and free up space at the Solihull plant, which is being revamped to build the next generation of Range Rovers.

David Bailey, the professor of industrial strategy at Aston University, said it has raised hopes that the JLR's first electric auto - the I-Pace - will be built in Britain.

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