British marque to retool UK facility for EV manufacturing

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will move production of its Discovery SUV to Slovakia from early next year, the company has confirmed this week, in a bid to prepare its Solihull, UK, facility for a new generation of electric vehicles (EVs).

In an email sent to Bloomberg, the British marque said: "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 U.K. and to transformation and growth".

"The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency employed staff in the U.K. is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally."

Job losses as a result of the shifting of Discovery production to Slovakia is another hit for British employees, after the company announced it would cut around 1000 agency-based positions in Solihull citing declining diesel sales as the cause.

According to a report by the UK's Autocar, Land Rover's UK sales fell by around 20 per cent in the year to March 2018, while overall diesel sales in the region continue to decline.

Last year, the company confirmed that all its new models will be electrified to some extent from the year 2020, meaning it will shift to hybrid and electric offerings only.

Currently, JLR offers the all-electric I-Pace SUV – due to arrive in Australia in October – while the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are available in plug-in hybrid variations.