General Motors India's sales and marketing chief has quit, reportedly to pursue external opportunities.

Sumit Sawhney, vice-president of sales, marketing and after sales since August 2010, had been with GMI for 12 years since joining as head of business and network development in March 2000, The Times of India reported. He had previously worked for Fiat India.

The paper said Sawhney was instrumental in the launch and success of new Chevrolet products like the Beat diesel hatchback and the Cruze, the premium sedan segment leader in India.

"I had a great time [at] General Motors and helped in building this company with great passion. From [the] few hundred cars we were selling in early 2000, our sales have now increased to more than 110,000 units in India with eight different models being sold," Sawhney said.

GM started in India in 1996 with its German Opel brand but decided later to sell under the Chevrolet brand, introduced in 2003.

It has invested heavily in car and engine plants and currently is the sixth largest automaker in India.

GM now operates close to 180 dealerships and 180 service points across India, the seventh largest network in the country.

Sawhney had reported to Lowell Paddock, president and MD of GM India and played a major role in developing innovative marketing strategies for improving sales and the dealer network. He also promoted the Chevrolet brand to rural customer and aggressively expanded the regional service network.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors said on Tuesday (14 August) it has appointed Sawhney's previous boss and Paddock's predecessor, former General Motors India president and managing director Karl Slym, as MD.

Slym, who starts on 1 October, will head Tata Motors operations in India and overseas, including South Korea, Thailand, Spain, Indonesia, South Africa.