Talks to decide the pay for up to 8,000 Land Rover workers began yesterday as the firm unveiled surging sales in the United States.
Union negotiators were meeting company executives at an undisclosed Midlands location in a bid to hammer out a settlement this week.
Meanwhile, figures showed Land Rover sales in the US last month leapt by 45 per cent to 3,425 from 2,366 in September 2004.
Land Rover has seen a 32 per cent rise in cars leaving US showrooms so far this year - a total of 30,930 units - compared with the same stage last year.
Soaring sales, led by Range Rover Sport and LR3 (the American name for the Discovery) have continued despite the much-publicised ills in the US motor industry, which has been buffeted by huge fuel price rises and the hurricane damage in the south.
Land Rover spokesman Mark Foster said the line-up of new models, such as Range Rover Sport, was helping to drive performance, although even the existing Range Rover was six per cent up.
He said: "Sales are strong, demand is very strong and the factory is working pretty well. We received the unions' submission and we have made a response to it."
In an otherwise poor month for Ford in its home market, Jaguar saw its sales fall by 42 per cent to 2,135 compared with 3,671 in September 2004. This year so far Jaguar's US sales have tumbled to 24,284.
Overall, Ford group sales dropped by 19 per cent to 228,157 last month with a decline in trucks accounting for most of the decline. Car sales rose by three per cent, according to figures published in Detroit.
"As expected we experienced 'pay back' in September following a strong performance to start the quarter," Steve Lyons of Ford North America said.