Land Rover won’t build auto plant in NC

Jaguar Land Rover, which was reportedly considering North Carolina as a possible location for a new auto plant, has decided not to build in North America.

The carmaker has signed a letter of intent for a possible new European plant in Nitra, a city in the Slovak Republic, several news agencies reported.

Land Rover was one of several automakers looking at multiple Southeastern states for a new manufacturing facility.

In May, Volvo announced it would build a new $500 million plant near Charleston, S.C., and employ up to 4,000 people.

Volvo considered three North Carolina sites in Chatham County, Edgecombe County and Randolph County and sought state incentives for the project, according to N.C. Department of Commerce records released Friday.

The state’s attempts to land an auto plant have figured prominently in the debate over incentives.

Gov. Pat McCrory has sought to replenish the state’s main job incentives and recruiting fund, known as the Job Development Investment Grant, which has been out of money for months.

The issue was stalled by ongoing budget negotiations. Earlier this week, the Senate approved an economic development bill that would raise the cap on JDIG.

The Senate proposal would cap JDIG spending at $20 million per year, with an additional $5 million for the current year. The awards would be more generous in poorer counties and most generous for companies investing at least $500 million while creating at least 1,750 jobs.

David Bracken: 919-829-4548, @brackendavid