The first Range Rover Evoque rolled off the production line at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood plant on Merseyside yesterday.
Demand for the car, also known as the "baby Range Rover", is credited with creating more than 1,000 jobs at the factory over the next two years. The company, owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, has already received more than 18,000 advance orders for the SUV and deliveries to customers are set to begin in September.
Three-quarters of the Evoques produced at Halewood have been earmarked for export, creating a market worth £2bn. The model also accounts for £2bn of new orders from British showrooms.
The car is being marketed at city dwellers and female drivers, who may not have owned Range Rovers before.
The former pop star Victoria Beckham has been named an "ambassador" for the baby Range Rover and is designing a special edition version of the car. Prices for the Evoque will start at about £28,000.