Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) opened its state-of-the-art $1.4bn (1bn euros) manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia. Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in Nitra marks the latest step in the company’s global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture in 2014 and Brazilian plant in 2016, supported by contract manufacturing in India from 2011 and Austria from 2017.
Prof. Dr Ralf Speth, said: “Global businesses require global operational footprints. The next generation manufacturing plant in Nitra, Slovakia represents the start of a new era in manufacturing for Jaguar Land Rover. It is the latest milestone in our long-term globalisation programme and the culmination of four years planning. As with our existing manufacturing facilities located in the UK, China, Brazil, India and Austria, this high-tech plant in Slovakia will complement and support our corporate, R&D and engineering functions headquartered in the UK.”
Jaguar Land Rover currently employs around 1 500 people in Nitra, 98 percent are Slovak nationals and 30 percent are women. It will launch its second phase of local recruitment in November looking for an additional 850 people to join the world-class team in Nitra.
The new 300 000 m² facility stands at the forefront of aluminium manufacturing and engineering expertise in Slovakia, with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year. Supporting the company’s on-going commitment to deliver high technology lightweight vehicles to its customers, the first Land Rover Discovery rolled off the production line in September. The plant incorporates cutting-edge technologies and it is the first in Europe to use Kuka’s Pulse carrier system which is 30 percent faster transfer times than conventional conveyance systems. It will also feature a highly automated paint shop process to ensure the highest quality and minimise the environment impact.