Construction of JLR plant begins

The first cars may roll off the production lines in 2018.

The construction siteThe construction site (Source: SME)

The unveiling of the cornerstone in Nitra on September 13 has officially launched the construction of the new plant of British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

The buildings will be constructed by Japanese company Takenaka, which also built the plants for Žilina-based carmaker Kia Motors Slovakia and Trnava-based Peugeot, the Sme daily wrote.

The total investment in the first phase exceeds €1.4 billion through which the company plans to create 2,800 new jobs directly, in addition to other jobs at subcontractors.

The first production operators should be hired at the turn of 2017 and 2018 and the first cars should roll off the production lines in the second half of 2018, said JLR’s operative director Alexander Wortberg, as reported by the TASR newswire.

The plan is to produce 150,000 cars per year in the first phase, which should double in the second phase, the SITA newswire wrote.

The Nitra plant will be one of the most modern in terms of the automotive industry, he noted.

“This is our first plant in continental Europe, and Europe itself is an important market for us. Slovakia is situated in its heart, and therefore the location in Nitra is extremely useful,” said JLR CEO Ralph Speth, as quoted by TASR. “There is excellent infrastructure and many of our suppliers are also close by. People in Slovakia can be sure that our partnership and our commitments are serious and the future is bright.”

Slovak PM Robert Fico sees the arrival of Jaguar to Slovakia as a great success.

“We had a dream to create a top-notch industrial park that would bring Slovakia to the first world league (in terms of industry),” Fico added, as quoted by TASR. “I’m glad that such a world-class strategic park is being constructed in Nitra.”

Currently, there are 470 hectares of land prepared, 31 kilometres of road infrastructure, a special railway terminal and flood-protection construction adjustments, the PM added, noting that the flood barriers will protect the industrial park and the town of Nitra in the future.

“I assure the investors that they can rely on us also during the approximately 24-month construction of the plant,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR. “I believe that around September 12-13, 2018 at the latest, we will be celebrating the manufacture of the first car.”

Read also:JLR draws investor from USRead more 

As many as 40,000 people have already applied for a job at the new carmaker. However, the company takes into consideration that not everyone will be eligible to work in the factory.

“They must have the appropriate qualification and a certain level of skills,” Wortberg said, as quoted by TASR. “We certainly want to invest in a variety of local projects aimed at training young people in particular.”

The company would like to raise a new generation of automotive engineers in Slovakia in due course, he added.

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