Published on October 29th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair0
Jaguar Land Rover Opens New Factory in Slovakia
Jaguar Land Rover today opened its state-of-the-art €1.4bn (£1bn) manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia, the first time a UK automotive company has opened plant in this country.
With the heart and soul of its business in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in Nitra marks the latest step in the company’s global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture in 2014 and Brazilian plant in 2016, supported by contract manufacturing in India from 2011 and Austria from 2017. The creation of new international factories allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new models, protect against currency fluctuations and support a globally competitive business.
Jaguar Land Rover currently employs around 1,500 people in Nitra, 98 per cent are Slovak nationals and 30 per cent are women. It will launch its second phase of local recruitment in November looking for an additional 850 people to join the world-class team in Nitra.
All manufacturing employees have taken part in a bespoke 12 week training programme in the company’s first overseas Training Academy, representing an investment of €7.5 million.
The new 300,000m² facility stands at the forefront of aluminium manufacturing and engineering expertise in Slovakia, with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year. Supporting the company’s on-going commitment to deliver high technology lightweight vehicles to its customers, the first Land Rover Discovery rolled off the production line in September.
The plant incorporates cutting-edge technologies and it is the first in Europe to use Kuka’s Pulse carrier system which is 30 per cent faster transfer times than conventional conveyance systems. It will also feature a highly automated paint shop process to ensure the highest quality and minimise the environment impact.
Looking to the future, the factory has been designed with the flexibility to enable smart, connected manufacturing technologies, such as shop floor visualisation by using real time data to solve issues which will support improved process efficiency, delivery and quality.
Slovakia has an established premium automotive sector, which represents 44% of the country’s overall industry. With an established network of suppliers in close proximity, Jaguar Land Rover has sourced and localised a number of components, such as seats and wheels, to support production of the Land Rover Discovery in Nitra delivering several thousand additional jobs in the automotive supply chain in Slovakia.