JLR is Breaking Ground On New Factory in Slovakia
We recently shared the exciting news that JLR is expanding their research center in Portland, Oregon. Along with this recent investment, JLR is also investing $40 million in expanding their Special Vehicle operations headquarters. All this extra money must be coming from the growth in sales that JLR has been experiencing, especially now with the launch of the F-Pace. It seems that this growth is continuing because JLR is breaking ground on new factory in Slovakia with a $1.3 billion investment. 800 million will be spent on construction of the factory while 200 million will be used to build a network of suppliers that is expected to generate thousands of jobs. The factory is expected to employee just under 3,000 people and will start operations in 2018, using a new German designed conveyor belt technology.
Initially, the factory will have an annual car capacity of 150,000 cars. Alexander Wortberg, Operations Director for Jaguar Land Rover, said to Fortune that the factory could eventually produce up to 300,000 cars, but that decision is yet to be made, and that the factory plans to produce “tow different models in some variants”. Although Britain’s decision to leave the EU (Brexit) made many concerned about the future of this project, the project has not been effected and will boost Slovakia’s economy, as one of the biggest ever foreign direct investments at $5.5 million. Slovakia is one of the poorest but fastest growing euro zones with an automotive manufacturing focus that represents 43% of their industrial output and 25% of its exports. The Automotive Industry Association expects an output of more than 1 million cars from Slovakia this year. JLR CEO Ralf Speth commented saying, “UK may be planning to leave the EU. But be sure JLR is not leaving Europe.”