The confirmation follows the signing of an initial letter of intent filed earlier this summer. JLR says the announcement makes it the first British car maker to open a production facility in the country.
Construction on the new facility will start in 2016 and the first vehicles will come off the production line in late 2018. The factory will eventually employ 2800 people, and forms part of a £1 billion investment by the firm.
The factory is intended to help Jaguar Land Rover substantially increase its production. Though the factory will initially have a capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year, that figure could double to around 300,000 vehicles over time. This could help take JLR’s global output to closer to 800,000 vehicles a year. JLR has confirmed that the plant would build the latest, lightweight aluminium Jaguar Land Rover models, with the factory being designed to add to existing plants rather than replace them.
Ralf Speth, JLR's chief executive officer, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is delighted today to welcome Slovakia into our family. The new factory will complement our existing facilities in the UK, China, India and Brazil and marks the next step in the company’s strategy to become a truly global business.
"Slovakia has an established premium automotive sector, which represents 43% of the country’s overall industry. It has more than 300 suppliers in close proximity and an excellent logistics infrastructure; this confirmed our decision that this country was the ideal location.
“The heart of our company will always be in the UK, where our design, technology and manufacturing capabilities are based."
Jaguar Land Rover says it had considered a number of other locations, including the United States, Mexico and elsewhere in Europe - thought to be near the city of Wroclaw in Poland.
However the Slovakian site has got the nod, with the country’s government recently having changed the laws relating to its Act on Investments of Significance in order to win "the investment of the decade".
Economy minister Vazil Hudak was quoted as saying in 2014 that Slovakia had been missing out on big inward investments because it lacked the big industrial parks that companies wanted.
Marking today's announcement, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said: “We are glad that Jaguar Land Rover has chosen Slovakia for its new world-class manufacturing facility. This decision shows that, with a stable and solid business environment, Slovakia is an attractive place for investors. And the marriage of Slovak craftsmanship and British engineering holds great promise.”
JLR has invested more than £11 billion in product creation and capital expenditure in the past five years, boosting its workforce by 20,000 to 36,000 around the world. This includes more than £500 million on a new engine plant in the Midlands, with 1400 new jobs, and significant investment in plants at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull. It is also set to start building cars at the Magna Steyr plant in Austria.
Jeremy Hicks, managing director of Jaguar in the UK, said: “It’s positive for the UK. We already have three factories here and have invested significantly at increasing capacity at those. This is all about enabling a spread of capacity to help global growth.
“We are a global company which is growing globally and we want to grow across all our regions, so it makes sense to have a manufacturing capacity in those regions. It makes economic sense.”
The Jaguar XE, Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport are all currently built in the UK. It has not been announced which models will be built in Slovakia, but contenders include the forthcoming Land Rover Discovery 5 and the replacement for the Land Rover Defender - which is due in 2018.