Slovakia - Jaguar Land Rover has opened its manufacturing facility in Nitra, which is located in the west of the country, an hour’s drive from the capital Bratislava. It cost the company €1.4bn (US$1.59bn) to build, covers an area of 300,000 sq.m, and has an annual output of 150,000 vehicles.

“Global businesses require global operational footprints. While Jaguar Land Rover’s heart and soul remain firmly anchored in the UK, expanding internationally only enriches and strengthens our UK business. Today’s opening of our next generation manufacturing plant in Nitra, Slovakia represents the start of a new era in manufacturing for Jaguar Land Rover. It is the latest milestone in our long-term globalisation programme and the culmination of four years planning. As with our existing manufacturing facilities located in the UK, China, Brazil, India and Austria, this high-tech plant in Slovakia will complement and support our corporate, R&D and engineering functions headquartered in the UK,” commented Ralf Speth, CEO of JLR.

The plant is reportedly the first in Europe to implement Kuka’s Pulse carrier system, with transfer times 30% faster than conventional conveyors. JLR says the facility has also been designed with several technologies in mind, “such as shop floor visualisation by using real time data to solve issues.”

It is currently being used to make the Land Rover Discovery, which was a major contributor to the rising sales that the OEM recorded for the financial year ending 31 March 2018. The model was previously made in Solihull, the UK, but this plant has recently been closed for two-weeks with JLR citing uncertainty over Brexit as the primary factor.

The opening of the plant follows shortly after JLR’s first all-electric SUV, the I-Pace, entered production at Magna Steyr’s plant in Graz, Austria.