News : Jaguar Land Rover expands into Europe


Jaguar Land Rover’s continued expansion – towards hoped-for world dominance – has taken a step forward with the announcement that it would like to build a new factory in Slovakia.

The company has signed a Letter of Intent with the Slovak Government for the potential development of a new factory in Nitra in western Slovakia. The move might be seen as a snub for the UK factories, but JLR says, ‘the move marks the next step in the company’s strategy to become a more competitive global business.’ Given that the company employs more than 36,000 and has invested more than £11bn in the UK, it should not be a cause for concern, as it would be additional production capacity, and not at the expense of the factories here.

The company says that, following robust analysis of a number of locations including Europe, the United States and Mexico, it has selected Slovakia as its preferred location. It is close to a strong supply chain and good logistics infrastructure. Subject to the outcome of the feasibility study, a final decision is expected later this year.

Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia, said, ‘The Slovakian Government is delighted to be selected as Jaguar Land Rover’s preferred location for this feasibility study. We look forward to working closely with Jaguar Land Rover over the coming months to progress the negotiations.’


Keith Adams
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  1. Good news – expanding production to a country where labour costs are cheaper will enable them to make lower price models competitively (Defender replacement I presume), whilst maintaining R&D and higher value-added production to remain in the UK

    • We hope. This is the problem with foreign ownership. Sure BMW has factories all over the world, but the profits flow back to Germany. JLR profits flow to India, so the benefit to UK PLC is from production and parts sourced in this country. A foreign factory means one less in the UK.

      • No JLR profits flow back into JLR to bank roll new models. In the past 5 years we have seen the Evoque, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery Sport, XE, XF, F Type and F Pace. Where do you think the development funds for these have come from?

      • BMW profits don’t all flow to Germany. Half the company is owned by non-German shareholders (including 11.8% UK based and 15.8% US).

  2. The fast pace of Jaguar Land Rover’s growth since the TATA acquisition really is incredible.

    I don’t at all think it’s a snub to the UK – The company is simply thinking in global terms.

  3. I totally agree. They have to expand outside the UK to compete with their rivals and take the fight to them.

  4. Funny How MG Rover approached Tata with regard to selling their Indica in this country as the City Rover when perhaps they should have been persuing them as a new owner/partner instead……

    • Was there a sense of “this funny little company that sells little economy cars and old Merc based pickups”, while with JLR we have seen that it is a modern BRICS-based multinational conglomerate?

      • Tata at the time would have had little to offer MGR.

        JLR’s success has been down to Tata letting them get on with it, I doubt Tata has contributed much in terms of technical help.

    • I am sure they did, but I would imagine that Tata saw MG Rover had nothing like the potential value in it compared with cost of turning it into something viable.

    • So do I!

      It also takes the pressure off Land Rover to produce more and more road biased 4×4’s to take on the likes of BMW and Volvo. I’ll look forward to seeing one for real.

  5. There are a lot of benefits to this, not least the financial incentives from Government grants in countries such as Slovakia keen to attract inward investment and the associated new employment opportunities generated. It also enables Jaguar Land Rover to focus on specific and more specialised specification and packaging for particular export markets in that geographical territory which might increase their competitive appeal.

    All in all this is very good news and it can clearly aid in the ongoing sales potential of Jaguars and Land Rovers in particular exports markets.

    Who knows, but with regular speculation in the media suggesting there could be smaller and cheaper priced car and off-road vehicle offerings emerging from Jaguar Land Rover (e.g. a smaller off-road vehicle than the Discovery Sport and with a starting price under £20,000), this factory could be the key piece in turning those speculated aspirations into a production reality.

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