Jobs at risk as JLR confirms Discovery switch to Slovakia

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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.

Jaguar Land Rover is to move all production of its Discovery from the United Kingdom to Slovakia in a move that could lead to the loss of jobs.

The Solihull factory, where the Discovery is manufactured, will be used to build a new generation of Range Rover models, the firm said.

The announcement comes weeks after profits at Jaguar Land Rover were nearly cut in half in the fourth quarter.

JLR have said the decision to move production and the "potential" job losses was a "tough" decision to make.

Since then the company has revealed its profits were nearly cut in half in the fourth quarter as the car-maker was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation.

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The new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will however be built at the automaker's central English Solihull plant on an architecture which is created to allow for diesel, gasoline, electric and hybrid models to be produced.

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

Industry experts have warned that this plus concerns for the future of the sector following Brexit could mount pressure on United Kingdom auto makers - though brands such as Nissan and Vauxhall both recently committed to continued assembly at their British factories.

The slump came as demand for diesel vehicles dropped, while the auto maker also blamed uncertainty over Brexit and vehicle taxation. The biggest plant in the company, it now employs 9,000 people.

The auto is now produced at a plant in Solihull, in the West Midlands. The next generation Range Rover Evoque will borrow its design language from the new Range Rover Velar and will most likely debut later this year.

Alongside the Slovakia announcement, Jaguar said it will invest millions in a revamp of Solihull, where the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models will be built. JLR also builds the SUV in Changshu, China.

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