Land Rover Discovery production moving to Slovakia

The Land Rover Discovery is set to be moved from production near Birmingham by the beginning of 2019

"From the 2019 model year, Land Rover has rationalised its Range Rover Evoque body style offering to concentrate on the five-door model and convertible, which account for the majority of sales", a spokesperson for the Whitley-based brand said, according to Autocar.

JLR had already announced in 2016 it would produce Discovery models in Slovakia, but only said the manufacture would be split.

The company, owned by India's Tata Motors, builds almost one in three of Britain's 1.7 millions cars but is producing its first electric vehicle, the I-Pace, in Austria. These will be the next Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which will be built on an all-new architecture. The Discovery makes up around 10% of Land Rover's total sales.

The company warned that there may be some job losses in the United Kingdom as a result.

Although the livelihoods of many of these agency workers are under threat, JLR said the decision to upgrade its factories in Solihull and Halewood should safeguard the future these plants and the vast majority of its work force.

The move is likely to result in Britain's biggest vehicle maker cutting agency staff at the plant near Birmingham as part of a manufacturing shake-up which is due to take effect from early next year as the European site at Nitra comes on line.

Sources at Land Rover also revealed to Bloomberg that the move is also to free up capacity at the Solihull plant where the Discovery is now built, along with the the Range Rover, Ranger Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace, to make way for new electric cars.

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Since then the company has revealed its profits were nearly cut in half in the fourth quarter as the car-maker was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation.

The company has also blamed Brexit for hitting demand in Europe's second-largest autos market, where demand fell 6 percent a year ago, a source told Reuters in April.

The Land Rover Discovery Sport (pictured) will still be made at the Halewood plant.

He added: '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 we remain committed both to the United Kingdom and to transformation and growth'.

JLR has an agreement with contract manufacturer Magna Steyr to build the Jaguar E-Pace and all-electric I-Pace, it's first full-electric vehicle, in Austria.

David Bailey, the professor of industrial strategy at Aston University, said it has raised hopes that the JLR's first electric vehicle - the I-Pace - will be built in Britain.

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