The UK car industry does not need a bail-out but the government is considering help for manufacturers' financing arms, Lord Mandelson says.
He told the BBC that the industry faced problems raising finance to help would-be buyers fund new car purchases.
Lord Mandelson said the Treasury was considering offering commercial loans or loan guarantees to help the industry "bridge a very difficult period".
Meanwhile, an industry body confirmed it was in talks with the government.
"We are in active discussion with the government to ensure that motor finance companies, along with other non-bank lenders, have access to the relevant government liquidity and guarantee schemes, so that they can get the funds they need to serve their customers in the motor and other markets," Stephen Sklaroff, Director General of the Finance and Leasing Association, told the BBC.