Bavaria could intervene to help supplier Schaeffler if jobs were at risk, but should not take on a management role, Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer has said.

"If thousands of jobs are in danger and there is a sustainable concept on the table, then the state can help," Seehofer told Austrian daily Der Standard, according to Reuters.

"But (the state) should not be directly responsible in running the business, that never goes well and the same goes for Opel," he said.

Schaeffler said on Monday it needs up to EUR6bn in new financing. It bought Continental with a borrowed EUR16bn in a hostile takeover but the credit crunch has meant it is struggling to service the debt.