Jaguar Land Rover signs deal with government to build new major plant in Slovakia

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Jaguar Land Rover signed Friday a deal with the Slovak government to build a new plant for the luxury car maker in Slovakia.

The U.K.-based company, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors, is planning a plant near the city of Nitra, about 100 kilometres (65 miles) west of the capital, Bratislava, that could produce up to 300,000 cars a year.

Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Ralf Dieter Speth said the company will invest 1.1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) into its first plant on the continental Europe. “We think long term,” he said after a signing ceremony.

The plant should open in 2018 and create initially 2,800 and eventually up to 4,000 jobs.

“It’s a great success for Slovakia,” Prime Minister Robert Fico said.

He said his government will provide the carmaker an investment subsidy of up to 130 million euros ($142 million).

Slovakia is a regional car-making powerhouse with Germany’s Volkswagen, France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen and South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp. all having a major plant in this Central European country of 5.4 million people.