Currently reading: European Commission investigates Slovakian aid for Jaguar Land Rover plant
Investigation launched into whether Slovakia violated EU state aid rules with €150 million grant to support new car factory

The European Commission has launched an investigation into plans by Slovakia to grant €125 million (£108m) to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to support the construction of a new plant in the country.

The money from the Slovakian government had been promised to support JLR’s construction of a £1 billion factory in the city of Nitra. The plant, due to be completed in 2019, would have a production capacity of 150,000 cars per year. The €125m subsidy, announced in May 2016, is the maximum aid that can be granted.

EU state aid rules allow countries to support economic development and employment programmes in less developed regions, but hey must meet certain criteria to be approved. These include that state aid must promote private investment, be kept to the minimum necessary and not lure investment away from another EU member state.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “It is a good thing if public investment fosters economic growth in Member States. However, we need to avoid harmful subsidy races between Member States.

“The Commission will carefully investigate if Slovakia’s planned support is really necessary for Jaguar Land Rover to locate its investment in Nitra and is kept to the minimum needed if it distorts competition or harms cohesion in the EU.”

The Commission is also investigating whether other elements of the agreement are free from state aid. These include Slovakia’s transferral of land for the car plant to JLR, and exemption from a fee payable for converting agricultural land into industrial land.

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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JimmyMac 25 May 2017

Slovakia hosts

Slovakia hosts VW, PSA and Kia and local authorities have given them subsidies. JLR are small fry in comparison to them.
BertoniBertone 25 May 2017

French Connection....

I suspect that the French think JLR should be building a factory in northern France instead. Aren't EU rules set up exclusively to aid French industrial policy ....? :-)
Westmaster 25 May 2017

Ford got an EU loan.

Ford's £80m EU loan to boost Turkey factory - and close Southampton's Swaythling plant.