The ongoing saga of the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover continues, although it seems now a real end may be in sight. Ford’s concern with the process is that the brands are sold to a buyer that wants to continue to build upon their legacy. The previous deadlines for the sale of the two brands came and went because Ford felt it couldn’t find the right buyers. However, now that the final bids are in, it’s just a waiting game to see which bidder comes out on top.

India’s Tata Motors Ltd. and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. are two contenders for the purchase. Apollo and One Equity Partners are also in the bidding for the two marques. Final bids submitted last week were between $1.5-$2.2 billion, although the amount bid by each contender is undisclosed. The most recent bids span a wider range and have a higher top end than the previous bids, which ranged from $1.8-$2.0 billion, reports Automotive News.

Regardless of which bidder wins, however, we won’t know until some time during the first quarter of 2008. Business for the 2007 calendar year is nearing an end in the U.S. with just eight business days until the Christmas holiday.