India's Tata Group, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, has been told to 'look to their own resources' instead of the British government to tide over the current economic downturn.
The company, which is seeking financial help from the government, has been backed by unions, which say that the car industry needs support 'within days'.
However, lowering hopes of a speedy intervention by the government, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said on Sunday that the state would act only as a 'lender of last resort'.
He told The Observer that the Tata Group must 'look to their own resources ... The government cannot be the first call for help in these circumstances'.
He added: "If there is anything the government can appropriately do for any such company, then they will have to meet -- and pass -- some pretty tough tests."
Lord Mandelson told the Observer he was not indifferent to the plight of the car industry and that the government might be required to help companies vital to employment in the UK.