A union leader said last night that talks with India's Tata Motors over its planned takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover had been constructive.

Ford, which currently owns the two West Midland luxury carmakers, also said there had been good progress in discussions with Tata and that it was still expecting an agreement early in 2008.

"We are confident our members' long-term future is best served by Tata," said Dave Osborne, national secretary for vehicle building at Unite.

"They totally ruled out offloading Jaguar or building Land Rovers in India."

Unite is the main union representing workers at Land Rover and Jaguar, and has about 12,000 members there.

Tata has been in talks with Ford since it was chosen as the front-runner to buy the units in the New Year.