Co-owner & Commercial Director
Mike Hague-Morgan is a co-owner of Autocraft Solutions Group. With his strong track record in turning companies around, Mike was appointed Commercial and Engineering Director of US-owned Autocraft Industries in 2008, with a brief to turn the loss-making company into profit. Seeing the potential of this very unique company, Mike led the MBO of the company and in doing so, became a 45% shareholder. The company was re-born as Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions.
A keen off-road enthusiast, Mike followed his hobby of rebuilding old Land Rovers into a BEng Mechanical Engineering degree at Cardiff University. Having initially started his career at Ford, Mike moved into the automotive tier 1 supply base working in the casting, forging and machining sector where he had roles in operations, engineering and sales at sites across the UK.
Mike is a passionate believer in B2B partnerships with a win-win philosophy. He is a keen supporter of developing engineering talent and champions the use of new technology in manufacturing businesses. Mike is Chair of the SMMT‘s Automotive Components Section (ACS), Vice Chair of the East Midlands Regional Advisory Board for Make UK, a Manufacturing Board Member of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and regularly supports Innovate UK and KTN Workshops to promote engineering and manufacturing in the UK.
Mike spends his spare time with his wife and 2 children, going on holidays when he can. He also follows Formula 1, Manchester United Football Club and Welsh rugby.
Co-owner & Managing Director
Steve Harris is a co-owner of Autocraft Solutions Group. Steve was promoted from Finance Director to Managing Director in 2008 by the then US Owners who also employed Mike Hague-Morgan at the same time and gave them the task to turn around the loss making company. Following a strategic review by the US owners Mike and Steve completed an MBO of the company and in doing so, each became 45% shareholders of Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions.
Steve started his career as a commercial trainee in the consumer electronics industry rising to the Midlands Regional Accountant controlling the finance function for three local hubs servicing retail shops, television repair and cable TV services from Hull to Northampton. After also gaining experience in warehousing Steve then joined South East Lincs Engineering as Company Accountant. Surviving various owners and company names, South East Lincs became Autocraft and in 2000 Steve was promoted to the position of Finance Director.
Although coming from a finance background Steve is a confirmed petrol head enjoying both watching motor sport, driving fast cars and understanding how they work. When they’re not spending time with their 3 children and first grandchild, they like to travel.
Brian Barr is a shareholder and the Chairman of Autocraft Solutions Group. For over 35 years Brian has worked in a number of manufacturing companies either as an owner, board director or as a business consultant. His wide range of skills in managing multi-site international companies include identifying, prioritising and implementing business objectives, managing change and company culture and turning around loss-making companies.
His hands-on leadership style and strong negotiation skills made Brian the ideal choice to join Mike and Steve at Autocraft during the Management Buy Out in May 2010.
As member of the Institute of Directors and with a MSc in Design Systems in Production, Brian combines his expertise in operations and maintenance management with his passion for business improvement.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys game shooting, watching sport and being a full-time taxi driver to his sporting children. He is on the board of a number of local organisations including Valley End Cricket Club, The Agricultural & Horticultural Society, and the Cherry Trees and Tuesday Club Charity fundraising teams.
John Seaton is the Finance Director of Autocraft Solutions Group, with a very strong background as a Commercial and Finance Director for a number of global corporations over the past 25 years. Finance has always been in his blood since his schooldays, receiving a school prize for book keeping and accounting at the age of 16!
He started his career as a trainee accountant within a precision engineering PLC, and has many years of experience working in manufacturing businesses and more recently, rapidly growing SMEs, making him ideal for the fast-paced environment at Autocraft Solutions Group, which he joined in May 2018.
John is a fellow of both the ICAEW and CIMA, which ensures he has a solid understanding of business and not just finance, bringing a fresh pair of eyes to support the Senior Management team.
John strongly believes that the Finance function should be an integral part of the business and he adds value by focusing on what the numbers are saying, rather than just producing reports for the sake of it. His commercial background combined with his strong negotiation skills is a real boost to ASG’s Commercial function.
Away from the office, John is likely to be found out on mountain bike trails and has a particular fondness for the trails in Scotland, having recently ridden all of the 7 Stanes, amongst many others.
Engineering & Quality Director
Simon is an experienced, time served engineer and joined the company in 2015 as Quality Director, and now heads up the Engineering and Quality departments in our Autocraft Solutions Group facilities.
Simon’s illustrious career started with 12 years in the Royal Air Force as an engineer. He then moved to JLR as principle engineer in the Powertrain R&D division, before moving to Japan, where he spent 9 years working for Jatco (Nissan) as the General Manager responsible for STA & overseas customers NPI on all transmission programs, and became fluent in Japanese. He has also lived in China for 2 years as Chief Engineer for Great Wall Motors.
Simon gained his extensive knowledge of EV and alternative fuelled engines during his time at Intelligent Energy, responsible for implementing a pilot line and supply chain for Hydrogen fuel cell modules in a joint venture with Suzuki in Japan.
Past interests include canoeing and boxing for the Royal Airforce, and he completed the Tokyo marathon in a not too embarrassing time of 4.5 hrs! Today, Simon is happily married with 2 sports mad children with whom he spends all of his spare time taxiing to various events around the country.
Dr Sara Ridley
Dr Sara Ridley is the Project Director of Autocraft Solutions Group. Inspired by WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), Sara put her enthusiasm for problem solving to good use, completing a manufacturing apprenticeship. This led to a first-class BSc Engineering degree at the University of Northampton.
Whilst studying, Sara began working for Caterpillar Remanufacturing in engineering and operations eventually working at sites across Europe. The expansion of her role helped her understanding of the ecological and economic benefits of remanufacturing and she found a huge passion for improving processes and controls. This in turn led to Sara being awarded an Industrial Fellowship for her doctoral research from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Her research has been published in both remanufacturing and production journals and she has received international awards for her academic papers.
Sara moved to MAHLE Powertrain in 2013, becoming Head of Manufacturing Engineering and Quality for their four UK sites. Sara was part of the MAHLE European Talent Development Programme for Leadership in 2017/18. The MAHLE strategic decision to withdraw from manufacturing in the UK in 2018 led to the closure and sale of the Wellingborough site and, having managed the site closure, Sara decided upon a return to her roots in remanufacturing with Autocraft.
She is a enthusiastic STEM Ambassador, supporting local school engineering clubs and leading activities in Girls Into Engineering days. Her aim is to encourage young people to study mathematics and science at school and see the wide and inspiring range of engineering and technological careers. Sara is concerned about the image of engineering that she feels contributes to the lack of girls and women in the profession. She regularly engages with schools and universities to develop strategies to counter this.