Jobs at risk as JLR confirms Discovery switch to Slovakia

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Speaking to City A.M., a spokesperson for Jaguar Land Rover confirmed that as a result of the refit, there may be some job losses at the plant for agency staff connected with Discovery production.

Jaguar Land Rover will be moving all production of its Discovery SUV to Slovakia in 2019, making way for the redevelopment of its Solihull plant to create electric, petrol and diesel versions of its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.

Two years ago the firm, owned by India's Tata Motors, insisted that its new Slovakia plant would "complement" its United Kingdom operations, with the Discovery built in both locations.

The company had previously announced the production of some Discovery vehicles in Slovakia.

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The announcement comes just two months after the company revealed it was axing 1,000 agency workers at Solihull after a slowdown in production.

The Discovery has been built in Solihull since it was launched in 1989.

The Indian-owned firm has previously said all of its cars will be available in an electric or hybrid version from 2020, indicating the new Range Rover models could be the first greener auto the company builds in Britain. It means the company's Solihull and Halewood plants will remain at the cutting-edge of its long-term strategy.

The company is grappling with slumping demand for diesel vehicles in the U.K. Sales in the country fell 12.8 percent in the year to March amid consumer uncertainty about Brexit and nervousness about buying diesel cars, though sales grew in China and the U.S.

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The group saw pre-tax profit slump to £364 million in the three months to March 31, down from £676 million in the same period a year ago.

Alongside this, JLR says "a significant investment and technology upgrade" in Solihull will prepare the plant for other new and upcoming Land Rover models. It has also blamed Brexit for hitting demand in Europe's second-largest autos market, where demand fell 6 percent past year. The next-generation Defender is also set to the built there, given its relationship to the Discovery's underpinnings and the lower production costs.

In 2014 the automaker started production outside the United Kingdom for the first time when versions of the Rover Range Rover Evoque started rolling out of a plant in China.

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