JLR insists Brexit will not disrupt Slovak investment

By bne IntelliNews July 26, 2016

Brexit has not disrupted the plans of Jaguar Land Rover to build its first plant outside the UK in Slovakia, the Indian-owned carmaker insisted on July 26.

Bratislava fought off a bevy of suitors to win the €1.4bn investment from the builder of the British marque last year. Poland claimed it could not compete with the massive incentives package offered by its competitor. State assistance worth a up to €130mn in the form of subsidies was approved in December.  

Slovakia has already seen several announcements from other companies that they plan to move facilities to Nitra to supply the plant. It has suggested the plant – set to turn out up to 300,000 cars eventually - could boost GDP growth to as much as 4% this year.

However, speculation has suggested the investment could be hit hard by the UK vote to leave the EU. Reports last month suggested the company stood to lose up to GBP1bn by the end of the decade should the UK leave the EU.

Jaguar is keeping to its schedule so far, and would like to launch construction by the end of the summer, as soon as it acquires a construction permit, Alexander Wortberg, the company's executive director for the investment, stressed to reporters, according to TSAR.

"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. The executive did admit that the result of the referendum was a surprise for JLR, however.

"Defence mechanisms against risks are always created," he continued. "The investment in Nitra was planned in euros, and it's being charged in euros as well," Wortberg added. The British pound has lost considerable value since the Brexit vote.

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