A report in London's Sunday Times over the weekend suggests that outgoing GM Europe chief Carl-Peter Forster could be heading for a role as head of Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) 'within the next few months'.

The report in the Sunday Times said: "Forster was likely to be appointed to a senior role at Tata Motors, owner of Jaguar Land Rover, and would take charge of the group's British operations."

Citing senior sources in Frankfurt and Detroit, the report said: "Forster...was sounded out about the job earlier in the year, and is expected to join within a few months."

Forster, 55, was responsible for leading GM Europe through its recent turbulent negotiations with the German government and would-be buyer Magna and was a strong supporter of the Magna bid.

Forster was widely expected to run an independent Opel under jilted suitor Magna and his departure would mark the first high-profile manager exit as a result of the failed deal that has triggered a storm of outrage in Germany.

Forster, 55, a former BMW executive and son of a German diplomat, who speaks perfect English, had strained ties with Detroit after speaking out in favour of the Magna deal.

The Tata Group declined to comment, the Sunday Times said.

GM said that with the departure of Forster, it will initiate an immediate external search for a new CEO for Opel Europe.

"The Opel brand has made tremendous progress under Carl-Peter's tenure and leadership over the past several years," said GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson. 

"We thank him for his significant accomplishments and wish him only the best in the future.  In the meantime, we're confident that the key personnel leading Opel will stay focused on running the business during this time of transition.  We expect to finalize our proposals for establishing Opel/Vauxhall's future next week and will be engaging all stakeholders to see how we can best work together in achieving our mutual goals.  We will update on our progress as soon as is possible."

Henderson added that no other management changes to the Opel Europe organisation are being considered at this time, and that all key management roles remain while the search for a CEO to lead Opel Europe commences.

"The past few years building the Opel brand has been a tremendous personal opportunity," said Forster. 

"We've seen great strides in design, quality and technology and the launch of truly world-class products.  It's been an honour to be part of the history of Opel, and I wish all the people with the organisation only the best in what I'm certain will be a great future."