Workers at MG Rover's doomed Longbridge plant will today receive their redundancy letters as efforts begin in earnest to secure their future elsewhere.
The Rover Task Force will hold its first meeting to map out how to distribute the Government's £150 million aid package for workers, suppliers and dealers caught in the slipstream of the carmaker's collapse.
The 5,000 Longbridge workers who have lost their jobs following the demise of the company are expected to receive letters from administrators setting out redundancy arrangements.
Tony Woodley, general secretary of the Transport & General Workers' Union, said that while he supported the long-term aims of the task force, he was more concerned about the short-term impact on the workers.
He said: "My thoughts at the moment are with the immediate and practical needs of every worker at Longbridge.
"The most important thing is to get our people good redundancy terms, and secure their pensions. I have sent letters out to them all. I am particularly concerned about the problem with the company lease cars which could end up costing our people a fortune."
Mr Woodley said he hoped to secure an agreement with the banks which would mean the workers could return their cars without having to make payments which would swallow their redundancy pay.
"But we are also working with the administrators to see what can be salvaged out of this mess," he added.
Mr Woodley said he was still hoping to retain some kind of manufacturing on the site. "It is too early to start thinking about supermarkets."
Local MP Richard Burden (Lab Northfield) said the task force would look at ways to speed payments as a matter of urgency.
He said that reviews would take place of measures to help suppliers, while steps were being examined to improve advice workshops and to explore job matching and retraining opportunities.
He said: "What the workers at MG Rover and its suppliers are facing is really serious.
"Anybody who minimises the fear and uncertainty they are going through is not facing the reality.
"But there is a very clear message from the task force, the Government and the unions; we are standing by them."
Mr Burden was speaking as it emerged MG Rover could owe up to £1 billion, according to administrators of the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Meanwhile the Department of Trade and Industry is to launch a wide inquiry into the finances of MG Rover, focusing on the accounts of the intricate web of firms which make up the group.
The investigation, which will be headed by Sir Bryan Nicholson, chairman of the Financial Reporting Reporting Council, will examine the accounts of the company over the last five years. John Towers, chairman of MG Rover's owners Phoenix Venture Holdings, has defended the money he has made from the failed business and claimed he was the victim of a "character assassination".
He said that he did not welcome the Government's ordering of a formal investigation into the firm's accounts by the Financial Reporting Council.
Yesterday MG Rover enthusiasts gathered outside the factory to take part in an emotional tribute to the company.
Hundreds of MG Rover owners drove from across the UK to join a rally at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham as a gesture of solidarity.