Jaguar Land Rover Inks Deal to Build Plant in Slovakia Getty Images

Jaguar Land Rover Inks Deal to Build Plant in Slovakia

The plant near the western Slovak town of Nitra will employ 2,800 people and produce 150,000 cars annually.

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia—Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) on Friday signed a deal to build a car manufacturing plant in Slovakia, its first such investment in continental Europe.

The factory, worth 1.1 billion pounds (1.5 billion euros, $1.67 billion), is due to turn out the first cars in 2018, said JLR chief executive Ralf Speth.

The plant near the western Slovak town of Nitra will employ 2,800 people and produce 150,000 cars annually at first.

"Jaguar Land Rover is delighted today to welcome Slovakia into our family," said Speth.

"The new factory will complement our existing facilities in the UK, China, India and Brazil and marks the next step in the company's strategy to become a truly global business," he added.

The plant, whose construction is due to start in 2016, will produce "a range of all-new aluminum Jaguar Land Rover vehicles," JLR said in a statement.

"This is a huge success for Slovakia," Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told reporters, rejoicing over a "promising marriage of Slovak craftsmanship and British engineering."

Slovakia, whose economy is dependent on car production and exports, has offered JLR investment aid worth up to 130 million euros, he added.

An EU and eurozone member of 5.4 million people, Slovakia is already home to three large car plants, run by Germany's Volkswagen, South Korea's Kia Motors and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen.

The Slovak finance ministry said in September JLR's investment may boost economic growth in 2016 to some 4%, up from 3.2% expected this year following 2.4% growth in 2014.

JLR is a unit of India's Tata Motors, which bought it from Ford for $2.3 billion (2.1 billion euros) in 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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