It is too soon to celebrate the sale of Land Rover and Jaguar to Indian group Tata Motors, the MPs representing thousands of automotive workers have warned.

Lorely Burt (Lib Dem Solihull) said a successful bid by Tata would be good for West Midlands employees because the group had a history of buying businesses and maintaining existing workforces.

But the MP, whose constituency includes the Land Rover plant, said: "This is not yet a done deal."

Siôn Simon (Lab Erdington), whose constituency includes the Jaguar plant in Castle Bromwich, said: "There are no guarantees at this stage, but Tata is the most likely to understand that we can only make Jaguars in the West Midlands and Land Rovers in Solihull."

Business leaders across the Midlands have welcomed the announcement by Jaguar and Land Rover owners Ford that Tata is the preferred bidder for the carmakers, which employ 13,500 in the Midlands.

The decision places Tata ahead of rival bidders Mahindra and Mahindra and One Equity Partners.

Ms Burt said: "This proposed acquisition looks like a win-win, not only for Ford and Tata but for the tens of thousands of workers whose jobs depend on the continuing presence of Jaguar and Land Rover in the UK.

"Tata's usual method of operating is to maintain workforces and manage from a distance.

"They will benefit from access to advanced technology and their first motor vehicle acquisition outside Asian car markets.

"Ford should benefit from continuing to supply Land Rover and Jaguar with engines and the workforce should benefit from the retention of production in the UK."

But she added: "This is not yet a done deal. There are still important matters to be agreed. It may be a little while yet before a final agreement is reached."

Mr Simon stressed the importance of selling the businesses to a buyer such as Tata which has a history of making vehicles.

The firm manufactures commercial and passenger vehicles ranging from passenger cars to buses, mainly in India.

He said: "Many people in Birmingham and the West Midlands have been telling me how strongly they would prefer Jaguar and Land Rover to be sold to a vehicle manufacturer which will take a real pride in the brand, the technology and the workforce.

"But we can't count our chickens until they're hatched."

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