Jaguar Land Rover will build the next-generation Land Rover Defender at its plant in Slovakia.
The facility in Nitra opened for business in October 2018 and has been building the Land Rover Discovery ever since. However, JLR has bigger plans for the plant which will be capable of producing 100,000 vehicles a year by 2020. Later on, capacity will be boosted to 150,000 vehicles a year.
The automaker said it would build the upcoming Defender in Slovakia to make room for newer models at its factory in the United Kingdom. Land Rover has already announced that the Defender would be unveiled later this year, with some reports advancing September as the month of the world debut.
Since the new generation model is designed and engineered in Britain, not to mention that it’s a British institution, some may find JLR’s decision to build it in Slovakia rather than the UK quite curious.
“This decision is in parallel with plans for significant investment at the company’s Solihull plant in the UK to support the production of the next generation of flagship Range Rover and Land Rover models,” JLR explained the move in a statement cited by Reuters.
JLR’s decision most certainly will not go down well with the British government in the wake of similar announcements from automakers such as Nissan and Honda. The Japanese carmakers decided to move production outside the country for fear of a no-deal Brexit. Other companies, including Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, and PSA have stopped UK production for weeks after March 29.
British brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Vauxhall built over 750,000 of Britain’s 1.52 million cars in 2018.