Jaguar Land Rover has revealed it will build its new Defender model in Slovakia rather than the UK.
The old model of 4x4 was built in Solihull for 67 years, with production ending in 2016. The company had remained tight-lipped over where the updated model would be built, until now. Production is expected to start soon at its £1 billion plant in Nitra in Slovakia, which opened in October 2018.
JLR stressed that the car has been designed and engineered in the UK, while the engines have been built in Wolverhampton. It also reiterated plans for "significant investment" at its Solihull plant for the production of Range Rover and Land Rover models.
The news comes as little surprise given the UK car industry's sustained warnings and threats about the impact of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and Jaguar Land Rover's investment in the Slovakia plant.
Speaking to the BBC, James Attwood, deputy editor of Autocar magazine, said: "Reading between the lines it always looked like it would be built in Slovakia, particularly after they had invested such a large sum in their new plant there.
"But it is still very much a British design. And, of the range of engines that are going to be built for the new vehicle, a number are going to be built in the UK."