Tata will be named Ford's preferred bidder for Jaguar and Land Rover in the next two weeks, it has been claimed.
The Indian industrial group has already been approved by the unions representing workers at the carmakers which employ 13,000 people in the Midlands.
Ford is currently examining the bids from One Equity Partners, Indian industrial group Mahindra & Mahindra as well as Tata.
But it is thought it will close the bidding down to one final party to iron out final details ahead of an announcement early next year.
Suspicions have been raised that Ford's decision will be announced at the Detroit Motorshow in January.
Ford expects to close the sale of its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in early 2008 and is intent on selecting a bidder that shows a commitment to investing in the luxury nameplates, according to their previous boss.
Mark Fields, who was previously head of the Premier Automotive Group, said: "First and foremost in our minds is to make sure that we sell to a buyer that looks to grow the brands.
"We're still going through the process."
Mr Fields, who is now Ford's president for the Americas, said it was unlikely that Ford could close the deal in the remaining weeks of this year.
"It's most likely going to be in the first quarter," he said.
Ford is spinning off Jaguar and Land Rover in order to focus on restructuring its loss-making North American operations.
Merrill Lynch has valued the Jaguar and Land Rover brands at up to £735 million on a combined basis.
Indian newspapers reported last week that final bids for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands had ranged between £735 million and £1.08 billion.
Meanwhile a well- placed source said Tata would be named preferred bidder in the next two weeks because they won't change things in a radical way.
They are addressing things like the pensions issues, and they set out their stall with the takeover of Corus.
"Corus went very smoothly, there were no hiccups and no major job losses. Tata is a very big organisation and it is in for the long haul.
"When they do acquire Jaguar and Land Rover that will be good for the workers and good for the country."
They are in the final stages of negotiating the details.
"It will be the best thing that has happened to the Midlands. Tata will guarantee the future of Jaguar and Land Rover and investment in the two companies.
"Tata is going to be the winner."
The source said Tata knew the abilities of the Midlands intimately - it has worked with Warwick Manufacturing Group for more than 10 years.
The group also uses British consultants and technology.