Jaguar Land Rover moves Discovery production from Solihull to Slovakia

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Monday's announcement comes after JLR said this year it will cut 1,000 jobs and reduce production at two of its English factories as demand for diesel cars slumps in the face of higher taxes and a regulatory crackdown.

The move is likely to result in Britain's biggest auto maker cutting agency staff at the plant near Birmingham as part of a manufacturing shake-up which is due to take effect from early next year as the European site at Nitra comes on line.

Britain's biggest auto manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, is to transfer all production of its Land Rover Discovery model from the West Midlands to a plant in Slovakia, potentially putting hundreds of agency jobs at risk.

JLR said in January it would decide this year whether to build electric cars in its home market after announcing all of its new cars will be available in an electric or hybrid version from 2020.

In a recent interview with a media outlet, Land Rover said that from 2019, the company will only offer the five-door Evoque and the convertible Evoque as option instead of the three-door Evoque.

Profits at the auto maker were nearly cut in half in the fourth quarter as it was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation.

The manufacturer said it would also be investing in its plant at Halewood, Merseyside, to build the next generation Range Rover Evoque. These will be the next Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which will be built on an all-new architecture.

The group saw pre-tax profit slump to £364million in the three months to March 31, down from £676million in the same period previous year. The E-Pace is also being built in China.

The slump came as demand for diesel vehicles dropped, while the auto maker also blamed uncertainty over Brexit and vehicle taxation.

Diesel sales have been falling in the wake of additional surcharges and changes to VED introduced by the Government last April.

Speaking to City A.M., a spokesperson for Jaguar Land Rover confirmed that as a result of the refit, there may be some job losses at the plant for agency staff connected with Discovery production. The biggest plant in the company, it now employs 9,000 people.

Latest employee figures say there are 3,200 people employed at the Castle Bromwich site and a further 10,000 at Solihull.

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