JLR unveils Slovakian plant for EVs

JLR has confirmed that its state-of-the-art plant in Nitra, Slovakia, will produce electric vehicles as part of the company’s Reimagine Strategy, which will see nine new electric vehicles launched by 2030.

Riaan JLR1

Announcing the news on the Slovakian plant’s fifth anniversary, Executive Director of Industrial Operations, Barbara Bergmeier, hailed the incredible success of the plant and its people, who have produced over 365 000 Defender and Discovery vehicles to date, since production commenced in October 2018.

“I am thrilled to announce that our fantastic state-of-the-art plant in Nitra will be producing electric vehicles this decade as part of our electrification strategy. This is a vote of confidence in the plant’s 5 000 skilled and dedicated people and demonstrates the key role Nitra plays in our current successful performance. I also want to thank our suppliers, who have followed us to Nitra and supported our increases in production,” says Barbara Bergmeier, JLR’s Executive Director of Industrial Operations.

JLR invested R26bn to launch Nitra, a highly digitised and automated plant that was the first in Europe to use Kuka’s Pulse carrier system – 30% faster transfer times than conventional systems. Since then, the luxury car maker has invested a further R1.2bn in new technology, land, buildings and software.

Built exclusively at Nitra, the new Defender has been a particular financial success story for the company. As JLR’s best-selling model for last two financial years, Defender is generating ten times the revenue that the Classic Defender did in 2015.

Looking forward, JLR is investing R348bn over five years to transform its vehicles to electric and become carbon net zero by 2039. This includes electrifying its luxury Range Rover, Defender, Jaguar and Discovery brands, and launching nine pure electric models by 2030.

JLR is rapidly transforming its industrial footprint to prepare for electrification, and the electrification of Nitra represents the last piece in that jigsaw.

Halewood will become JLR’s first all-electric production facility, Solihull will produce electric Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Jaguar models, the Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton will build Electric Drive Units (EDUs) and Castle Bromwich will be repurposed to build body panels for EVs. Meanwhile JLR has this week opened a new R5.8bn Future Energy Lab in Whitley, Coventry, UK, to develop Electric Drive Units for the company in-house.

Further details on the electric models to be built at Nitra will be confirmed at a later date.

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