Ford is expected to make an announcement tomorrow (Wednesday) on the immediate future of its UK Land Rover factory at Solihull, near Birmingham, which employs 8,000 workers.

The Daily Telegraph said Ford bosses last week threw out a survival plan drawn up by trade unions and local management and gave them a week to put the plant's 'road map' on the right track.

The paper added that speculation has since grown that Ford was preparing to close the plant and move production to other Jaguar factories. Karl Ludwigsen, a former Ford of Europe vice-president, reportedly claimed Ford had told the 'road map' team it could move production to Halewood and have it up and running within 30 days.

Ford builds the Jaguar X-type at Halewood, a former Ford Escort plant on Merseyside, near Liverpool, and has previously announced plans to shift production of the next generation Land Rover Freelancer SUV there from Solihull in 2006.

Another car industry expert told the Daily Telegraph that Ford's problem was that the Solihull factory was making Land Rovers on ageing equipment, while warranty claims were running high.

A Land Rover spokesman told the paper: "One way or the other we will say something. There is no indication nor would we expect it. Clearly they want to wait until Wednesday to present a new version of the road map."

A senior car industry source told the Daily Telegraph he was "100% sure" that Ford was not planning to close the site.

Dave Osborne, national cars officer for the Transport and General Workers Union, declined to be drawn on the progress of the talks. "We remain optimistic that we will meet the objective as set out," he told the newspaper.

The joint trade unions on Monday reported on the 'road map' discussions at Land Rover to a joint shop stewards meeting at Solihull, according to a union statement.

"It was an extremely positive meeting which the trade unions believe will enable us to achieve a successful outcome at the road map discussions to be concluded with Ford's Mark Fields tomorrow," the statement said.

The road map proposals will be balloted on by the Solihull workforce, it added.