The man who could end up running Birmingham vanm aker LDV yesterday promised the business will remain in the city.
Russian automotive group GAZ, part of the giant RusProm Avto group owned by Moscow-based billionaire Oleg Deripaska, is talking to LDV's American owner about taking over the company.
GAZ president Erik Eberhardson yesterday moved to allay fears that production of LDV's sole model, the Maxus, could be moved abroad.
He said in a prepared statement: "Whilst discussions regarding the acquisition of LDV are ongoing, I would like to make it clear that if agreement is reached we will not 'lift and shift' the operation.
"Manufacturing will continue in Birmingham."
An announcement of a deal had been expected earlier in the week, but The Birmingham Post now understands that discussions between GAZ and LDV's owner, Sun European Partners, are in fact still at a comparatively early stage.
Both companies stressed that there is no certainty that the talks will result in a takeover by GAZ.
Sun European, an offshoot of Florida-based private equity group Sun Capital Partners, bought LDV out of administration in December last year.
The company collapsed after running into cashflow problems caused by the higher manfacturing costs of the Maxus, its first all-new model since it was rescued after the failure of the old Anglo-Dutch Leyland DAF truck and van group in 1993.
Responding to Mr Eberhardson's statement yesterday, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman John Lamb said: "It is excellent news. Anything that preserves jobs is welcome, whoever takes LDV over."
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands was yesterday watching the negotiations from the sidelines.
"We will be seeking to meet any new owner of LDV to see what help and support we might be able to give," an AWM spokesman said. "We recognise the important of LDV although we remain unclear about the exact situation."