First Range Rover Evoque built on Merseyside

The milestone comes amid an expected surge in demand for both three- and five-door versions of the £30,000 luxury SUV, the smallest ever to be sold in the Range Rover line up.

It will also be the first Range Rover ever to be offered with a two-wheel drive option and its low weight and smaller engines mean it will be the greenest Range Rover ever built.

The Halewood plant on Merseyside, which currently builds the most popular UK Land Rover, the Freelander 2, will build the Evoque in preparation for a September launch.

Before production of the Evoque began, Land Rover hired 1,500 extra staff at the plant to cope with extra demand, which has seen over 200,000 enquiries for the car before it arrives in showrooms.

Part of the popularity is the low entry-level price to the luxury Range Rover brand, but a coupe-like, modern design and upmarket interior designed with the help of Victoria Beckham has also seen popularity of the car soar.

Revealed late last year in three-door format, a five-door model was subsequently added to the range. The car appeared in the UK for the first time earlier this year and was the star of the brand’s stand at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Available in three trim levels – which Land Rover has dubbed ‘themes’ – the Range Rover Evoque is designed to meet the growing trend for compact SUVs in urban areas.

However, 4×4 versions also come with Land Rover’s class-leading All-Terrain technology in a nod to the brand’s off-road expertise.

It will become the third car to use the Range Rover name after the original Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport.