Tony Woodley yesterday praised the West Midlands as the UK's centre of manufacturing and said he believed it had a future.
The Transport and General Workers Union general secretary defended the viability of the Midland's hard-hit industrial sector, during a visit to meet shop stewards.
"I think there will be a car industry in ten years time, but I wouldn't want to put a number on how many will be employed," he predicted.
"I believe there will still be jobs at LDV and Rover."
He cited LDV as an inspiring example of a business "rising from the ashes," to keep manufacturing in the region and added that he hoped MG Rover would be able to do the same.
LDV secured a deal with Daewoo in the late 1990s to give the group a 50 per cent stake in the Washwood Heath van maker. Although Daewoo sunk under the weight of its own debts, the deal helped keep manufacturing in the Midlands.
However he was optimistic that manufacturing would stay at Longbridge and said he spoke to the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, about it on Friday evening.
"We all want to leave manufacturing in place at Longbridge," Mr Woodley said. "The West Midlands is still the centre of the UK's manufacturing. I don't see that disappearing."