The fate of Jaguar Land Rover is likely to be delayed until detailed talks are completed between union leaders and the preferred bidder in the race to acquire the luxury marques, Indian company Tata Motors.
There had been speculation that an announcement about the sale could be made as soon as next week.
However, sources close to the deal said yesterday this could be delayed until talks between the union Unite, Tata and Ford were concluded.
Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, will be at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4 for the European debut of Tata's new Nano, the low-cost car unveiled in Delhi last month and which will sell for around £1,250 when it goes on sale later this year.
There was a possibility that if the Jaguar Land Rover deal had been sealed by then that Mr Tata would outline his company's plans for the two brands.
However, it may now be mid-March at the earliest before a deal is concluded and there is a possibility that it could be delayed until the second quarter.
Unite, which is seeking assurances about long-term job security and the retention of production facilities in the UK, is set to meet with executives from Tata tomorrow.
Unite spokesman Eddie Barrett was quoted in the Indian media yesterday as saying: "We haven't met Tata yet since the presentation last year, so this will be a very important meeting."
The union has already asked Ford to reconsider its position not to keep a minimum stake in the companies once they are sold off.
Unite is anxious to secure the continued involvement of Ford in the supply of vital components such as engines, axles and other parts.
It has also sought assurances from Ford over other issues such as pension provision.
Ford has said that pensions will be fully funded at the time of the sale and Unite is seeking an agreement from Tata that protects the rights of its members in the future.
Tata is thought to have offered around £1 billion for the two companies.
However, while the Indian company is Ford's preferred bidder, it has not ruled out competing bids from Tata rival Mahindra & Mahindra and private equity group, One Equity, fronted by former Ford chief executive Jac Nasser.