Ford is weighing up whether to build transmission systems for electric cars at its Halewood plant on Merseyside rather than at a site in Germany.
The car giant has held talks with government officials about making the new eTrans system in the UK.
A commitment would secure hundreds of millions of pounds in investment at the site from the car company, delivering a significant boost to Britain’s automotive sector.
Ford has held discussions with the Department for Business about tapping its £500m fund to help the UK’s car industry switch from conventional engines to electric power, although no decision has yet been made on state support.
Although a final decision about where to build the eTrans components – the electric drive part of a battery-powered transmission system – is yet to be made, industry sources said an announcement was likely within a month.
The move is likely to secure the long-term future for the Halewood plant, which makes engines for cars including the Fiesta and Focus, and which are exported to vehicle manufacturing plants in Europe.
Just five months ago, Ford took full control of Halewood, having previously run it as a 50:50 joint venture with German manufacturer Magna PT.
Opting for the British plant would secure the prospects for Halewood’s 500 workers and be the latest boost to Britain’s car industry after fears of an exodus triggered by Brexit.