"The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency employed staff in the U.K.is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally", Jaguar Land Rover said.
Currently, the Tata-owned carmaker has 3 production plants in the United Kingdom, builds cars in China and also has assembling operations in India, with a plant in Brazil too. While the company has said it will be investing further in Solihull, where the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sports will be built, the announcement was seized upon by critics of Brexit, who argued it pointed to the impact that concerns around Britain's exit from the European Union was already having on business and investment decisions.
A JLR statement also detailed plans for a refit at the Halewood production facility in Liverpool ahead of the next Range Rover Evoque's launch next year - meaning the entry-level Range Rover will continue to be produced at the plant.
Fundamentally, the technology upgrade in Solihull will account for a third of the plant. The biggest plant in the company, it now employs 9,000 people.
Discovery production at Solihull is to end after 30 years moving to Nitra in Slovakia
The company is grappling with slumping demand for diesel vehicles in the U.K. Sales in the country fell 12.8 percent in the year to March amid consumer uncertainty about Brexit and nervousness about buying diesel cars, though sales grew in China and the U.S.
JLR said in 2016 that it would build Discovery SUVs in Slovakia once the new plant there came on line, while saying some of the production of the model - which was redesigned in 2017 - would remain in the UK. It has also blamed Brexit for hitting demand in Europe's second-largest autos market, where demand fell 6 percent previous year.
However, the move has also been welcomed locally as a step for the manufacturer to upgrade the Solihull plant to build new, electric models.
In 2014 the automaker started production outside the United Kingdom for the first time when versions of the Rover Range Rover Evoque started rolling out of a plant in China.