relaunched XJ and a Range Rover EV, which is codenamed Road Rover and expected to be launched before the start of the next decade – could be produced at the plant, as part of JLR's desire to build electric cars in the UK.
No physical expansion of the Solihull factory is proposed as a result of the shift in production, but JLR claims the planned change in models helps to future-proof the plant. The investment in the UK facilities is said to be in the "hundreds of millions".
The opening of the Nitra plant was originally intended to take pressure off JLR’s UK factories, sharing Discovery production with the Solihull plant. Instead, Nitra will now produce all Discovery models. The next-generation Defender is also set to the built there, given its relationship to the Discovery's underpinnings and the lower production costs.
In a statement on the impact on jobs, JLR said: “The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency-employed staff in the UK is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally.”
In April, JLR laid off 1000 of its 40,000-strong UK workforce following a decrease in demand across the UK and Europe.
Around 46,000 Discoverys are made annually in Solihull, 80% of which head for foreign markets. The move to Slovakia for Discovery production will take effect at the start of 2019. The Discovery makes up about 10% of Land Rover's total sales.