Bratislava, July 26 (TASR) – British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will still come to Slovakia despite Brexit, Alexander Wortberg, the company’s executive director for the investment in Nitra, told a news conference in Bratislava on Tuesday.
Jaguar is keeping to its schedule so far, and it would like to launch construction of a plant near Nitra by the end of the summer, as soon as it acquires a construction permit.
“I can say that we took [a possible] Brexit into consideration when we were considering the investment in Slovakia. We haven’t halted anything due to Brexit and we don’t plan to do so, either,” said Wortberg. “Work with Slovak partners is going very well,” he added. Nevertheless, the result of the June referendum on Britain’s exit from the EU was a big surprise, he noted.
Suppliers of components for the Jaguar plant in Slovakia also considered a potential Brexit. “It hasn’t changed much for them, as they mostly develop global activities,” said Wortberg.
“Defence mechanisms against risks are always created. The investment in Nitra was planned in euros, and it’s being charged in euros as well,” said Wortberg when asked whether the announced total cost of the investment for the firm will change because the value of the British pound has fallen since the referendum result.
International construction company Strabag is also involved in preparatory work at Nitra industrial park, where Jaguar’s automotive plant will form the core. “At the moment I can’t confirm whether Strabag will also build the factory because the tender for this is still under way,” said Wortberg.
Wortberg said that around 2,800 people should find a job directly at the Nitra plant. “Approximately 40,000 people have already shown interest in working for Jaguar via the company’s website,” he said. Hiring will start next year, while the first cars should leave the company’s production lines in 2018. Annual output in the first stage should reach 150,000 vehicles.
In line with a government decision from January 13, 2016, Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Nitra enjoys the status of a significant investment. “A business plan with investment costs of a total nominal value of €1.406 billion will be implemented in the area of Strategic Park Nitra on the territory of the villages of Drazovce and Luzianky [Nitra region]. A total of 2,834 jobs will be created in direct connection with the business plan,” stated the Economy Ministry in a report.
State assistance worth a maximum of €130 million in the form of a subsidy for long-term tangible and intangible assets was approved for the Jaguar investment on December 11, 2015.