Lewis Booth, Ford of Europe chairman, said: "Ford is committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors concerning the potential sale of the combined Jaguar Land Rover business.
"There is still a considerable amount of work to do, and while no final decision has been made, we will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to securing an agreement that is in the best interests of all parties concerned."
Indian-based Tata was believed to be the front runner for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands which is also competing with bids from Indian rival Mahindra & Mahindra and the American equity group, OneEquity.
AM reported in September (view article) that industry experts predicted Tata would succeed, as it would build on the Jaguar and Land Rover businesses and could use the acquired technology to improve its own 4x4 vehicles on the market in the east.
Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary, made it clear plant and job security had to be at the heart of discussions over the future of Jaguar Land Rover or Unite, Britain’s largest trade union, will not support or accept Ford’s intention to sell or transfer the company.
Woodley said: "We need further and more detailed meetings and discussions with Ford and Tata which will focus on the job security of our members in the Jaguar Land Rover and Ford plants in the UK.
"There are also crucial issues around wages, terms and conditions and pensions to address before any final decision is considered."