Jaguar to move production of Land Rover Discovery from UK to Slovakia

Manufacturer struggling with falling profits in face of declining diesel sales and Brexit uncertainty

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Jaguar Land Rover is to move all production of its Discovery model from the UK to Slovakia, with hundreds of jobs likely to be affected.

The Land Rover Discovery is currently made at the company’s Solihull plant, but Jaguar said that it will switch production to eastern Europe by early next year and added that agency workers are most at risk from the move.

According to union sources, workers had not been informed of the news when it leaked to the press on Monday.

The company would not confirm how many roles are at risk. In April, the car maker announced plans to cut 1,000 UK jobs as a result of Brexit uncertainty and difficult trading conditions. However, at the time, the group also said it remained committed to all of its UK plants.

“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,” a spokesperson for Jaguar said on Monday.

As part of the move, the car maker plans to invest millions into its Solihull plant, where the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models will be built.

“This significant investment and technology upgrade in Solihull in order to accommodate our next-generation of flagship Land Rover models, and the refit of our Halewood plant for the next Evoque, is proof that we remain committed both to the UK and to transformation and growth,” the spokesperson added.

The announcement comes weeks after profits at Jaguar Land Rover were almost cut in half in the fourth quarter as the car-maker was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation.

The group saw pre-tax profit slump to £364m in the three months to 31 March, down from £676m in the same period last year.

In the UK, the company said it was "impacted by consumer uncertainty surrounding diesel models, Brexit and vehicle taxation".

Additional reporting by newswires

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