Land Rover boss Phil Popham has played down speculation that the Solihull off-road specialist could be dumped by parent group Ford.
Growing and sales and profitability should persuade Ford to keep the brand, which it bought from BMW in 2000, he said.
Speaking at Halewood, where Land Rover builds the new Freelander 2 alongside the Jaguar X-Type, Mr Popham said he was sceptical about reports that Ford was looking to lump the two units in as part of its financial recovery plan which will see the closure of 14 factories in North America and the axeing of thousands of jobs.
He also said the long term future of the former Ford Escort factory, which employs 2,400, was secure until at least 2015 following the switch of Freelander production from Solihull this year.
"You'd have to ask why, after all the billions of dollars invested by Ford in this business, this is the time to sell," said Mr Popham. "The products we've got are the best we've had, and we're beginning to make the return on investmentthat Ford expects."
Automotive commentators have speculated that Ford is looking to sell loss-maker Jaguar by throwing Land Rover in as bait for potential buyers.
Ford has said it plans doing nothing of the sort – but that could change when former Wall Street financier Kenneth Leet presents his appraisal of the company to the board.
In a presentation at the Halewood plant, Mr Popham said Land Rover was now on the path to sustained profitability after years of mixed results, thanks partly to booming growth in developing markets like Russia, where its sales are up more than 50 per cent this year.
In such markets Land Rover can piggyback on Ford's established sales and marketing infrastructure and share certain back-office costs with its parent.
Land Rover's global sales rose by 14 per cent to 185,120 vehicle in 2005 and are believed to be seven per cent up so far this year.
Volumes are expected to exceed 200,000 next year, when the new Freelander goes on sale in North America.
Ford declined to comment on a potential Land Rover sale. Ford, which will announce third-quarter earnings next week, has said it will eliminate about 44,000 jobs by the end of 2008.
In a separate development yesterday, the UK automotive sector suffered another blow when it was announced that TVR, the sports car manufacturers owned by Russian millionaire Nikolai Smolensky, is switching production to an unnamed European country.
There had been hopes that the company would move to another site in the North West but workers were informed of the plans yesterday as consultation with unions over redundancies began.