Midland pressings company Sertec has invested £2 million in a new factory in eastern Europe.
The Estonian move is part of the strategy by Sertec, which supplies pressings and welded fabrications to the automotive industry, to increase volumes while staying in the UK.
And the firm, which employs 500 at its four Midlands sites, has won the contract to supply pressings for Ford's successor to the Fiesta.
The contract, worth up to £2 million a year, follows Sertec's award-winning work for Ford's Premier Automotive Group which includes Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin.
Group managing director Graham Mosedale said: "We could subcontract some of the work to eastern Europe, but we want to keep control of quality and delivery ourselves.
"This new plant in Estonia gives us a price advantage without the risk."
He said the Estonian location was ideal, being close to Sertec's existing customer Scania in Sweden and Volvo, which is a target.
"It is also very near to Russia where there are opportunities with Ford and Toyota. The labour rates are cheaper than the UK, but the workers are also very well trained, disciplined and can speak English.
"They are seeking foreign investment and the government is making that happen. It is a nice place to do business."
The site, a former food warehouse, opened earlier this summer and currently employs ten people doing press work, but will ultimately rise to 70.
Mr Mosedale said the new plant, which represented a £2 million investment, would not mean work being outsourced from the Midlands overseas.
Instead it would complement existing sites at Coleshill, Aston, Whitton and Hinckley in the UK.
He said: "It is small beer at the moment, but will expand.
"It will not have any impact on our UK operations because we already have got enough new business coming through.
"We are winning a large amount of new business over the last 12 months, moving forward with new vehicle platforms and customers."
Sertec, which has its head office in Coleshill, has also seen a large amount of investment, with £4 million spent on new equipment over the last two years.
The money has been spent on nine new presses including two transfer presses, as well as hydroforming and laser welding facilities.
"If we reduce the labour cost, we can compete with cheaper economies in the Far East and India," said Mr Mosedale.
"If we do this we can be as competitive in the West Midlands as anywhere else in the world.
"This is allowing us to do some exciting development work. We will be able to get involved in protoyping and other kinds of business."
As well as reducing costs, automation is important because the volumes Sertec produces are increasing as the vehicles it supplies into change.
In the past it supplied parts for LDV and the Land Rover Defender, with typical volumes of 20-30,000 per year.
Now it is supplying the Range Rover Sport and New Discovery as well Toyota and Honda, which are seeing volumes of 200,000 a year.
Mr Mosedale said: "We have been successful picking winning customers and winning vehicles. As volumes increase we have to become faster to deal with it."
The firm, which is mainly a first tier supplier straight into original equipment manufacturers like Ford, has also moved into the second tier supply with the purchase of Frederick Woolley Pressings in 2003.
Woolley, which is based in Birmingham and supplies firms like TRW and Denzo with bracketry and smaller parts, has given Sertec another route into the automotive market.
Overall Sertec made 45 million parts of 2,700 different types.
Mr Mosedale, whose father Harry set up the firm with Ken Everett in 1962, said: "We can deal with that level of complexity."
Another focus has involved Sertec setting up and developing its own IT systems to manage sales and purchasing, ledgers, orders, HR and all aspects of the business.
"This means it is modelled exclusively to deal with our needs. We could have bought something off the shelf, but this is modelled exactly to what we need.
"This means we do not have to compromise on something. The auto industry changes so rapidly, the requirements are changing all the time.
"With our own system we can change our own IT to meet these challenges. For example Land Rover recently changed their scheduling systems to be more aligned to the Ford model.
"Parts no longer go into a distribution centre and straight into the factory. This was a major logistical challenge, and was difficult to manage with our existing resources."
Sertec is also moving into guest engineering and support for customers.
"We go to their offices and design centres, and help them with their products. This means we are involved at an earlier stage.
"We are closer to the concept stage and can influence the early stages of the product and drive costs out of it.
"We have had guest engineers working at Land Rover for example. Two have worked on the Range Rover Sport for two years at Gaydon, while two have worked on the latest Discovery."
Quality and delivery were the key factors to ensure satisfied customers, he added.
"These are absolutely sacrosanct. You do not phone up one of your customers and say you cannot get the component to them, or send them rubbish."
On quality levels, the company has achieved a failure rate of less than 25 parts per million, a figure which had been improved to zero in recent months.
Meanwhile it had managed to achieve on time deliveries of 98.9 per cent, with products going into the Lode Lane factory at Solihull on a four-hour loop.
The new Ford platform - which will replace the Fiesta - project could also be crucial, with annual volumes mooted to be around the 600,000 a year level.
Sertec would be looking to supply body structure pressings and bracketry in a contract which will be worth around £2 million a year.
It has been helped by it being the only UK supplier to win a Ford world quality award.
Mr Mosedale said: "We have got a reputation and that enables us to compete.
"They have been around and seen the equipment we have got and what we do, and know we can come up with the goods."
As well as its investment plans, the company was also on the look out for acquisitions, although none were targeted at the moment.
Any acquisition would be strategic and based on what customers the target had and what different products it made, said Mr Mosedale.
All this change could lead to 30 more jobs being created at the company in the next six months, while more engineers are also being sought.
Energy and steel price increases would be overcome by becoming more efficient, he added.
"We have to become more efficient to compete. But it is not just about price, it never has been. You have to deliver on time and to quality. Something is not cheaper if you are waiting for it or it's no good."