A Solihull MP says Jaguar Land Rover’s decision to shift Discovery production to Slovakia is “deeply concerning” – but the carmaker’s Solihull plant has a bright future.
Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, said she was in talks with JLR bosses and hoped to limit the risk to local jobs.
It follows the announcement that JLR is to move production of its Discovery model to Slovakia from Solihull, in a move likely to affect hundreds of workers.
The company said the switch will take place early next year and that agency workers are most at risk from the decision.
Dame Caroline (Con) said: “The impact of this decision and the potential of any job losses is, of course, deeply concerning.
“In response to this news, I have already established a dialogue with Jaguar LandRover and will be working with them to limit the risk to local jobs and ensure a successful transition.
“Nevertheless, it is reassuring that the Jaguar LandRover plant in Solihull will benefit from significant investment and a technology upgrade, making it fit for the future and to accommodate for the next generation of flagship and electric vehicles.
“Furthermore, that JLR have committed to making the Range Rover models; including one of their best sellers – the Evoque – in the UK.”
In an announcement on Monday, JLR said: “The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency employed staff in the UK is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally.”
It comes weeks after profits at Jaguar Land Rover were almost cut in half in the fourth quarter, as the car-maker was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales and Brexit uncertainty.
JLR also said it will invest millions in a revamp of Solihull, where the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models will be built.
In addition the next Range Rover Evoque will be built at a site in Halewood.
“This significant investment and technology upgrade in Solihull in order to accommodate our next-generation of flagship Land Rover models, and the refit of our Halewood plant for the next Evoque, is proof that we remain committed both to the UK and to transformation and growth,” the group said.