Coventry - Jaguar is expected to build a global model exclusively outside of the UK for the first time ever.
The Jaguar ‘baby’ E-Pace will be unveiled on Thursday. It is a compact SUV that will cost from £28 500 (R490 000) and will be manufactured at factories in China and Austria.
Britain’s biggest carmaker already builds vehicles abroad at plants in China, Brazil and India, but no model is solely produced abroad.
It is constructing a new plant at Nitra in Slovakia, its first European factory outside the UK, to build 150 000 vehicles a year. When the wraps come off the E-Pace officially on Thursday, bosses are expected to stress that the move to build the model only abroad is a positive sign of the expanding UK firm’s success at conquering global markets.
They will insist the decision gets around the issue of its existing UK factories "bursting at the seams".
It also means the UK car firm can avoid paying punitive import duties on the car which bosses expect to be a massive seller – and potentially the biggest-selling Jaguar.
JLR declined to comment on its plans ahead of Thursday's announcement.