The news that Ford had finally struck a deal to sell Jaguar and Land Rover to the Tata industrial conglomerate of India met with mixed reactions at the carmakers' employees yesterday.
Many said they were relieved that ownership of the two luxury brands had been resolved but others said they were worried about their jobs.
Paul Hoyte, who works on the Defender line at Land Rover's Lode Lane plant in Solihull, said workers there were told about the deal in a three-minute team briefing yesterday morning.
They were given a CD and a leaflet about Tata but little information about the actual sale.
Mr Hoyte, aged 35, said he felt both pleased and concerned. "I am pleased I have kept my job," he said. "But for how long?"
Worker Derrick Robinson said: "I just hope we don't get stitched up again."
Other Land Rover workers however were more upbeat. One, who said he had worked for the company for 20 years, described the move as "a good thing".
There was also a mixed response from Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, the trade union that represents most of the Land Rover and Jaguar shopfloor workers.
If they had to be sold, then Tata was the best option, he said.
Local MPs were unequivocal in their support for the deal.
"This is a win-win deal. Land Rover and Jaguar will get the investment they need to develop exciting new brands like the LRX, and Ford will be able to concentrate on their core business while continuing to supply engines and technologies to Land Rover and Jaguar," said Lorely Burt (Solihull, Lib Dem).
"News that Ford will put £300 million into the Jaguar and Land Rover pension pot is very welcome."
Richard Burden (Northfield, Labour), chairman of the all-party parliamentary motor group, said: "Tata is a forward-looking global company. All the indications are that Tata recognises the huge potential of Jaguar and Land Rover to become part of its group in a way that maintains the pace of investment and product development at the same time as retaining the essential Britishness of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. That will be vital to safeguarding thousands of jobs in the Midlands and elsewhere.
Among those arriving to start the evening shift at Halewood in Liverpool, the mood was positive.
Peter Kirk, aged 31, a production operative, said: "Tata has said he will honour Jaguar's five-year plan for this place,
which is great news in the short term. I think the real test will come in 2009/10 when the wage negotiations are taking place. Then we'll know what his long-term plan is."
Dave Loftus, aged 56, who has worked at Halewood for 35 years, said: "I'm disappointed in Ford because we have done so much for that company, worked so hard to make it profitable and now they have sold us to make a quick buck.
"They have effectively pulled out of the UK car industry and they will regret it."
Mark Long, aged 41, a production supervisor who has worked at the plant for 20 years, added: "I am delighted Ford has gone.
"All I know about Tata is that he makes the world's cheapest car and also owns Corus and Tetley tea bags."
Karl Roberts, aged 32, a production engineer, said: "There is going to be one major car manufacturer go down in the next few years and I think it will be Ford."