Sources running a tape measure over Jaguar and Land Rover have been reported as saying Ford will not achieve the GBP3bn-plus ($US6bn) it hopes to raise from a sale.

An accountant preparing details on the sale told the UK's Daily Telegraph he believed the automaker would be lucky to get GBP1bn, due to the huge investment needed to re-structure the two businesses.

The paper said Ford may be forced to retain the companies but scale them down substantially, especially perennial loss-maker Jaguar, if it doesn't get a satisfactory price.

A source told the Telegraph: "The seller [Ford and its advisers] keeps telling me that Jaguar and Land Rover are worth more than GBPP3bn. It's not realistic. Even a cursory glance at the information available shows Ford can't get one-third of this."

The paper said Ford-appointed investment banks are considering all options but a sale is believed to be the company's first choice.

The accountant reportedly said: "Not only will Ford not get as much as its hopes, but the company is a forced seller - which also drives down the sale price. I think they [Ford] are going to have to start lowering expectations."

The Tele noted that private equity firms are considered the most likely buyers because they are seen as having the cash, and also the will, to tackle the restructuring needed at Jaguar and Land Rover in the face of what is likely to be union opposition.