bne IntelliNews -
Poland has reportedly offered "huge" incentives to India's Tata Motors to attract a planned Central European factory by its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) marque. The country is close to trumping competitor Slovakia for the investment, according to the UK press and officials in Warsaw.
In just the latest round of speculation in a story that has run throughout the year, The Sunday Times reported on July 26 that Poland's keen offer has put it in pole position to land the investment. Depending on which countries' media is reporting, all of the Visegrad states have been heralded as the front runner in recent months.
JLR is searching for additional capacity to supplement UK plants that are reportedly running close to capacity. While it has made no official admission that it's even looking for a site in the region, leaking information appears almost weekly to keep the pot boiling.
Meanwhile, sources in Poland reportedly claimed that the new plant to turn out the iconic British brands is likely be built in Krakow at a cost of GBP1.2bn (€1.69bn). A decision on the destination of the JLR investment could be announced within weeks, The Sunday Times claims.
At the same time, the sources also said Slovakia remains an “outside possibility”. That appears to match a claim from Polish Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechocinski in early July that Poland and Slovakia are the only countries left in the running.
However, Tata looks to have plenty of time to crank up the pressure around Visegrad. Piechocinski spoke the day after the carmaker announced a deal to manufacture some of models via a partnership with Austrian contract auto producer Magna Steyr.
Piechocinski was back on the case on July 27 to "confirm" that Warsaw is in talks with a big, foreign automotive company. Poland would win an investment worth GBP1.7bn if the deal were finalised, he claimed, refusing to name names. The investment would create more than 5,000 jobs, he added.
JLR is reported to be looking to build a new plant in Central Europe to turn out up to 200,000 cars per year. At the same time, it has been careful not to refute suggestions that it could choose instead to place its next new facility in the US.
"Jaguar Land Rover continues to evaluate opportunities around the world. Europe is just one of the places under consideration. No decisions have been taken," a recent company statement noted.
The company produced about 450,000 vehicles last year, but plans to expand that to 1mn. JLR opened a factory in China last year and another is under construction in Brazil.
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