Land Rover Discovery production moving to Slovakia

The five-door Evoque and the three-door convertible will continue to be on sale

The five-door Evoque and the three-door convertible will continue to be on sale

While putting any jobs at risk is always always a bad thing, it's significant that JLR has moved its successful Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia, but kept production of its forthcoming flagship and electrified cars - a hugely important phase for the company - in the UK.

Although the livelihoods of many of these agency workers are under threat, JLR said the decision to upgrade its factories in Solihull and Halewood should safeguard the future these plants and the vast majority of its work force. Production at the plant is expected to begin later this year.

What is the main message we should take from Jaguar Land Rover's decision to move production of Land Rover Discovery from Solihull to Slovakia?

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The next Range Rover is set to be built on an all-new platform that has been designed with a range of different powertrains in mind, and it is believed that an electric option will be available, as well as an all-new standalone electric model using the same platform that will be more car-like in execution.

According to Reuters, shifting production from Solihull to the Slovakian city of Nitra - a move that will reportedly be complete by early 2019 - will save the Tata-backed company "thousands of pounds" per vehicle built, although it will likely also cost a few jobs in the UK.

The only place the Discovery is built is Solihull, though the plant also has lines turning out the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Velar models, as well as the Jaguar F-Pace.

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The company blamed the sharp fall in United Kingdom sales on "consumer uncertainty surrounding diesel models, Brexit and vehicle taxation". Both 4x4s are made in hybrid versions today. And the only properly electric auto made by JLR - the Jaguar I-Pace - is already built overseas, at Magna Steyr in Austria.

But is that a manufacturing strategy which will see production of Land Rovers, Range Rovers and Jaguars disappearing overseas?

Two years ago the firm, owned by India's Tata Motors, insisted that its Slovakia plant would "complement" its United Kingdom operations, with the Discovery built in both locations. More recent versions have made the model more of a road auto than a traditional off-roader.

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In the United Kingdom, the company said it was "impacted by consumer uncertainty surrounding diesel models, Brexit and vehicle taxation".

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