NITRA, Slovakia -- Jaguar Land Rover expects to hit annual production of 100,000 cars at its factory in Slovakia by 2020.
The automaker officially launched its $1.6 billion plant in Nitra, on Thursday after starting some production last month. The plant was built with an initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles.
The plant will initially serve as a production hub for the Land Rover Discovery SUV but could accommodate a second model as the UK company faces uncertainty over a lack of a deal on Britain's impending exit from the European Union.
Factory boss Alexander Wortberg said no decision on a second model had been taken yet. "It is very essential for JLR globally that the solution reached between the EU and UK does not result in a hard Brexit," he told reporters.
"We are starting with one model and one shift. We will start hiring for the second shift in November, that will be operational in the second half of next year. Annual capacity of 100,000 cars will be reached in 2020," Wortberg said.
Jaguar Land Rover said its Slovakian investment was the latest step in the company's global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture in 2014 and Brazilian plant in 2016, as well as the start of contract manufacturing in India in 2011 and in Austria in 2017.