The general reaction in the West Midlands to the news that Ford had finally struck a deal to sell Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors was one of relief that a period of uncertainty was now over.
One industrial figure said it meant an end to months of "rumours and speculation".
Ford announced to the New York Stock Exchange at mid-day UK time that it had entered into "a definitive agreement" to sell the two brands for about $2.3 billion (£1.15 billion).
The Dearborn, Michigan, company, which is fighting to restore its fortunes after a disastrous slump in sales in its home market in the US and multi-billion dollar losses, said it will pump some $600 million (£300 million) into Jaguar and Land Rover's pension funds.
The deal, which has to be cleared by regulators, is expected to be concluded by the end of June when Ford and Tata are expected to stage a high profile signing ceremony.
Until then neither company will say more than what was in yesterday's official joint statement in the US.
Ford president and chief executive Alan Mulally, who was recruited from aircraft manufacturer Boeing to kick-start the ailing car group back into life, paid tribute to the two companies, calling them "terrific brands".
Lewis Booth, head of Ford Europe, said: "This is a good agreement.
"It provides the Jaguar Land Rover management team and employees with the assurances needed to maintaining their focus on delivering the best results for the business."
As part of the deal, Ford will continue to supply Jaguar and Land Rover with powertrains, pressings and other components as well as access to the advanced automotive technologies they need to build the more eco-friendly cars demanded by legislators and consumers.
It will also provide finance for dealers and customers for up to 12 months.
Tata group chairman Ratan Tata said the Jaguar and Land Rover identities will be "left intact" and their management teams will be allowed to develop the businesses.
"We have enormous respect for the two brands," he added.
Leading the response, trade minister Lord Jones of Birmingham said he was delighted that the deal had been completed. "It's really, really good news," Lord Jones said. "It's a win-win situation and I think we should all celebrate."
The news last June that Ford was putting the two brands up for sale created uncertainty for employees and suppliers, Lord Jones said. He also said he believed that Tata would be an excellent custodian of the two companies.
Lord Jones said he had spoken to Ratan Tata very recently and found that he was well aware of what his responsibilities were to the companies and to the West Midlands.
"I know Ratan Tata and he is a first class guy. What he plans is in the best interests of the companies and their workers," he said.
Key automotive industry figure Graham Broome, chief executive of the Birmingham-based Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' Industry Forum, was also relieved that a deal had been struck.
"The uncertainty surrounding the future of Jaguar, in particular, has had a destabilising effect on the industry and on the region's automotive suppliers for some time.
"We welcome Tata and hope that we can look forward to a successful future for these two great marques."
Ian Smith, West Midland leader of engineering employers body the EEF, said: "This is undoubtedly good news for Land Rover and Jaguar as well as the region as a whole.
"The workers will be relieved that the uncertainty, rumours and speculation now appear to be over."
Eric Wallbank, a Birmingham-based automotive industry analyst for Ernst & Young, also welcomed the end of the uncertainty that has gripped employees, suppliers and the region generally since last June.
"Ford had said it could not afford to finance new products. That is a very unfavourable position for a car company to be in.
"This deal with Tata provides some certainty going forward."
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt was keen to point out that Ford would not disappear from the British automotive manufacturing scene once the Jaguar Land Rover deal is completed.
"The Transit (van) plant in Southampton and investment in engine facilities at Dagenham and Bridgend reinforce its commitment to manufacturing in Britain," he said.
Speculation about future Jaguar and Land Rover models under Tata's ownership was already gearing up last night.
Industry insiders believe that a new two-seater sports car developed by Jaguar in an attempt to recreate the glory days of the legendary E-Type could already be under consideration.