London : Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover will set up a one-billion pound premium manufacturing plant in Slovakia, its first venture in continental Europe, to make all-new aluminium vehicles as part of its commitment to deliver lightweight cars, the company said.

The UK-based Indian-owned luxury car maker clinched an agreement with the government of the Slovak Republic to build a new plant in the city of Nitra, western Slovakia.

The new world-class one-billion pound worth premium manufacturing facility is expected to employ around 2,800 people over time. “Jaguar Land Rover is delighted today to welcome Slovakia into our family. The new factory will complement our existing facilities in the UK, China, India and Brazil and marks the next step in the company’s strategy

Plant will have initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year 

to become a truly global business,” said CEO of Jaguar Land Rover Dr Ralf Speth.

“Slovakia has an established premium automotive sector, which represents 43 per cent of the country’s overall industry. It has more than 300 suppliers in close proximity and an excellent logistics infrastructure; this confirmed our decision that this country was the ideal location,” he said.

As part of its commitment to deliver more lightweight vehicles, the new plant will manufacture a range of all-new aluminium JLR vehicles, the company said.

It is anticipated that the first cars will come off the production line in late 2018.

The factory will have an initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles and construction will commence in 2016.

Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico, who signed the agreement with Dr Speth said, “We are glad that Jaguar Land Rover has chosen Slovakia for its new world-class manufacturing facility.

This decision shows that with a stable and solid business environment, Slovakia is an attractive place for investors. And the marriage of Slovak craftsmanship and British engineering holds great promise.”

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