British car maker Jaguar Land Rover has officially launched its new manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia, following an investment worth 1.4 billion euros.
“Global businesses requires 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,” said Dr Ralf Speth, CEO at Jaguar Land Rover.
“The opening of our next generation plant in 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.”
Around 1,500 people are currently employed in Nitra, 98 per cent are Slovak nationals and 30 per cent are women. All manufacturing employees have taken part in a bespoke 12-week training programme at the company’s first overseas Training Academy, representing an investment of 7.5 million euros.
“Our diverse workforce brings a wealth of experience from both automotive and broader industries. I am delighted to officially welcome our Slovak team to the Jaguar Land Rover global family today,” Dr Speth added.
The new 300,000 sq m facility stands at the forefront of aluminium manufacturing and engineering expertise in Slovakia, with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year. 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.
Jaguar Land Rover is also working closely with the communities near the manufacturing plant, having delivered almost 500 volunteering hours to projects in Nitra and surrounding areas. It launched its first employee grant programme supporting 12 local projects, including Nitra’s first therapeutic sensory room and started new education programmes to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers in Slovakia.