Dr Ralf Speth, JLR
Appointed in 2010, Ralf Speth has, as chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, presided over massive growth for the carmaker. JLR has created 8,000 jobs in recent years and launched one sector-defining product after another. A self-confessed car nut he drives a Jaguar XFR and owns a classic E-Type. A doctor of engineering, he is also an Industrial Professor at Warwick University. German-born, he was vice-president at Land Rover when BMW owned the brand.
Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin
Dr Ulrich Bez stepped down as chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda last year after two years in the post. Before that he spent 14 years as Aston Martin’s chief executive. He left the Gaydon-based carmaker in good shape – so much so it is now planning a new factory in Wales for its latest crossover project. He has worked for BMW, Daewoo and Porsche in the past and is a published author, having written Making Aston Martin in 2013. He now runs a hydrogen technology company – Alset Global – in Austria.
Grant Adams, Sertec
Grant Adams was appointed chief executive of Coleshill-based Sertec in February. Sertec is a world leader in presswork, welded assemblies, tube and exhaust work and wire forming, with five factories in the UK and a tooling operation in China. Passionate Aston Villa fan Grant Adams had previously been managing director at Sertec. He was instrumental in securing £20 million funding for the company from the Business Growth Fund and Lloyds Commercial Banking to support the launch of a new press shop.
Ian Callum, JLR
Ian Callum is director of design at Jaguar. The man behind Jaguar’s award-winning designs is an ex-student of Glasgow School of Art. After he took a Masters in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art in London. He has been designing Jaguars since 1999. Before that he worked at Ford and TWR where he worked on high-profile projects for Aston Martin, Nissan and Volvo.
Peter Johansen, London Taxi Co
Work on The London Taxi Company’s new headquarters and factory at Ansty Park in Coventry is progressing quickly. Peter Johansen is chief executive of the company and vice-president of UK operations. He was previously finance director at Manganese Bronze, S&A Foods and Brintons. He is also managing director of Kolding Consulting, a firm which specialises in support to new businesses and MBO teams.
William Wang, MG Motor
Car production at Longbridge is not what it used to be over its long history, but Chinese-owned MG Motor is carving out a useful niche with the MG3 and MG6. William Wang is managing director of MG Motor and has ambitions for its growth in the UK and Europe as it builds its dealer network. William Wang’s background is with Shanghai-based SAIC Motors - MG’s parent company.
Richard Halstead, EEF
Richard Halstead is director of the Midlands and East region of the Engineers Employers Federation - the manufacturers’ organisation. He is responsible for developing and growing the EEF’s membership in the region and leads policy and external affairs issues. He was previously UK operations director for Lucas Industries and commercial director at Yuasa Battery. He is o the boards of Birmingham Science City and the Warwick Manufacturing Group Academy for Young Engineers. He also chairs the Midlands STEM Cohesion Group.
Dr George Gillespie, OBE, MIRA
The Nuneaton-based Motor Industry Research Association is growing fast, with new facilities and a new technology park. George Gillespie is its chief executive and has overseen a 45 per cent growth in the business. He has worked in the automotive and marine sectors in the UK, Germany, Japan, China and the United States. Since it joined the HORIBA group last year MIRAt has seen investment of more than £16 million.
Dr Markus Fallboehmer, BMW
Dr Markus Fallboemer is plant director at BMW’s Hams Hall engine plant. He was previously based at the company’s Munich headquarters where he was head of planning and production for BMW’s powertrain division. He took over Hams Hall in January last year succeeding Nick Spencer. Hams Hall is developing fast with production of three-cylinder engines for the BMW i8 hybrid plug-in sports car coming on stream along with the firm’s next generation of engines.
Phil Swash, GKN Driveline
Phil Swash is chief executive of GKN Driveline. He took up his appointment at the Redditch-based division in September. He joined GKN in 2007 as chief executive of GKN Aerospace Europe, having previously worked for Airbus where he was responsible for wing production. Before his current role he was chief executive of GKN’s Land Systems division.