Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to move production from the West Midlands to a plant in Slovakia next year.
Britain’s biggest car manufacturer said that the move was unrelated to Brexit and the UK based Solihull factory will be used to build a new generation of Range Rover models.
The move is still likely to result in job losses. In April Jaguar Land Rover announced the axing of 1,000 UK jobs.
“This is truly shocking news. The automotive industry has been warning of the dangers facing their sector and now it appears the reality of Brexit is setting in,” said The Labour MP Madeleine Moon.
“Jobs have already gone in a number of car factories. When will this government finally admit to the damage they’re causing and start to listen to groups like the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders who don’t want British cars stagnating in the slow lane?”
The car company has faced a slump in profits by the decline in diesel sales. The first quarter of March saw pre-tax profits of £364 million compared to £676 million the year before.
In a statement, Jaguar Land Rover said: “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 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.”
Solihull plant currently has 1,800 Jaguar Land Rover employees. The group plans to invest in electric cars at the plant.
The group has said it plans to make an electric option for each of its new models after 2020.