Jobs at risk as JLR confirms Discovery switch to Slovakia

The five-door Evoque and the three-door convertible will continue to be on sale

In 2016, the company said it would produce Discovery models in Slovakia.

Land Rover has finally put to rest rumors that its next Defender might be built at a new plant in Slovakia by confirming that all Discovery production will be moved to the site, which was first announced in 2015 and due to be operational in late 2018.

"The potential losses of some agency employed staff in the United Kingdom is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally", the firm said in a statement.

The Solihull plant will be converted to manufacture electric and hybrid cars which the company will switch to making from 2020.

Two years ago the firm, owned by India's Tata Motors, insisted that its new Slovakia plant would "complement" its United Kingdom operations, with the Discovery built in both locations.

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.

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"The new, award winning Range Rover Velar was an important contributor".

The new Range Rover and Range Rover sport will however be built at Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull plant on an architecture which is created to allow for diesel, petrol, electric and hybrid models to be produced. The Discovery makes up around 10% of Land Rover's total sales.

Although the livelihoods of many of these agency workers are under threat, JLR said the decision to upgrade its factories in Solihull and Halewood should safeguard the future these plants and the vast majority of its work force.

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

JLR - which is owned by the Indian group Tata Motors - said that it remained "committed to the UK". It also blamed uncertainty over Brexit 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. The E-Pace is also being built in China.

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