JLR has started construction of its new manufacturing facility in Nitra, an important economic hub in western Slovakia. The new 300,000 sq m factory will manufacture a range of all-new aluminium Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

The ground breaking ceremony was attended by Slovakia’s Prime Minister, Robert Fico, and Andy Garth, UK Ambassador to Slovakia. The Slovak Car Industry Association estimates that about a quarter of Slovakia’s exports now concern automotive manufacturing.

To be operational in 2018, the investment is estimated at £1 billion (US$1.32 billion) and will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. The factory has been designed with the flexibility to enable smart, connected manufacturing technologies to support improved process efficiency, delivery and quality.

Just as is the case of its new plant in Brazil, Jaguar Land Rover will work with local organisations over the course of the next two years, to create new education programmes to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers by bringing the world of work to life as well as increasing awareness of the range of careers available to young people.

As previously reported by ILM, Volkswagen AG, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Kia Motors Corp are already operational in the country, adding to that parts suppliers such as Continental and Johnson Controls, the country is now considered as a key automotive hub in central Europe.