Luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) confirmed on Friday it will build a car plant in Slovakia, beginning a 1 billion pound ($1.5 billion) project which will be one of the biggest ever foreign direct investments in the central European nation.
The company, which is rapidly expanding its model line-up and volumes, said in August it aimed to build a plant at the western Slovak town of Nitra with an annual output of up to 300,000 cars.
On Friday, JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors Ltd, said it will begin constructing the site next year with around 2,800 jobs created as production ramps up.
It already has a plant in China and is nearly finished building a facility in Brazil as part of a global expansion.
These will operate alongside its British plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the English midlands, and Halewood in the northwest, turning out models such as the Jaguar XE sports saloon and the Range Rover Evoque.
Volkswagen, Kia and Peugeot Citroen already build hundreds of thousands of models in Slovakia, which said its membership of the euro zone helped encourage JLR pick it over neighbouring countries such as Poland.
A trade union source told Reuters earlier in the year JLR was deciding between four central European countries for the plant.
JLR has grown rapidly since it was bought by India’s Tata in 2008 but has suffered in recent months due to a blast at China’s Tianjin port, which destroyed thousands of its cars, and a sharp decline in sales in China earlier in the year.