About Us

Heritage spanning over 100 years, combined with talented teams and experience…..we are more than just a Wheel manufacturer.

Experienced, talented and focused team

At GKN Wheels we are proud of the people who work for us. Our people are talented and experienced, they are also committed and hardworking.  Always looking to better ourselves, our products and service - we work together to provide you with the very best.

What We Do

We are proud to have an experienced, talented and incredibly focused team of people, who share a common vision of making our business the best wheels organisation in the world.  Our product development, test facilities and manufacturing capabilities are truly world-class and are supported by our dedicated team of product managers, commercial and engineering experts who are passionate about what we do.

Leadership Team

The GKN Wheels' Leadership Team is responsible for the long-term success of the business, focusing on meeting our strategic objectives in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Phil O'Donnell

Chief Operating Officer

Phil has been appointed COO, responsible for the three manufacturing and two R&D sites.

Bringing extensive experience from global automotive, transportation and FMCG markets, Phil has worked for companies including Honda, Bombardier and The Bertram Group.

His roles have spanned Operations, Engineering, Design, Supply Chain, Procurement and Distribution. In each role he has always maintained a strong focus on customers and creating value for both customer and the business: a winning combination.

Phil has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Portsmouth.

Matt Pritchard

Finance Director

Matt was appointed Finance Director in November 2019 and brings a wealth of knowledge and unique experience to the role. He joined the finance team in our Telford plant in 2002, gained international experience supporting each of our overseas plants whilst working for the group Finance Director, and most recently held senior finance roles in our Armstrong USA and Telford UK facilities.


Matt holds the ACMA CGMA designation and graduated the GKN Land Systems Leadership Development Programme in 2017.


Mike Smith

Plant Director Telford

Mike joined GKN Wheels in July 2019 and has held Senior Director Positions with many years’ experience in the Aerospace, Automotive and Industrial Gas Turbine manufacturing in engineering environments.

He has the proven ability to work and communicate with people at all levels with proven people management skills and the ability to motivate, guide and manage the performance of teams to achieve success.

Mike has extensive experience working in PE environments, PLC and SME and adapts to complex strategies and delivers value creation.

Mike is also an elected member of the CBI Manufacturing Council and an Ambassador for the STEM program.

Faisal Jaffri

Global IT Director

Faisal joined GKN Wheels & Structures in April 2019 from Jaguar Land Rover where he held a variety of leadership roles in IT, including leading the IT team for the engineering function and responsibility for the development of Jaguar Land Rover’s IT Strategy. When Faisal left Jaguar Land Rover he had been responsible for the implementation of a new operating model and delivery of millions in savings for the company.

Faisal has over 20 years of experience working in various IT roles for IBM, Accenture and Jaguar Land Rover.  Faisal is a Board Trustee of The Air Ambulance Service and previously worked in the Oil and Gas industry.

John Madsen

Engineering and Commercial Director

John joined GKN in January 1994 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Southern Denmark.

He has spent over half his career with GKN, working outside his home country in locations in Denmark, the UK, Germany and China. Focusing on Business Development throughout the 1990's, he became part of the Global Strategic Key Account sales team in the 2000s.

John has seen growth of the GKN Wheels business from just two sites to seven and was appointed Global Product Management and Engineering Director – Wheels for GKN Land Systems in 2014.

Lars Lykke

Plant Director, Nagbol


Lars joined GKN Wheels in 2007 and has experience in a number of key senior leadership roles both across Europe and Globally.

Lars holds a bachelor’s degree in production engineering and has undertaken a range of leadership master courses at The University of Southern Denmark.

With many years of experience in change management, Lean programs and continuous improvement, Lars and his team work closely with customers to deliver results.

With a background as a tool fitter, prior to joining GKN Wheels, Lars had experience working in Logistics and supply chain roles.

When Lars is not working or looking after his family, he spends time wreck diving at the bottom of the ocean.

Michael Wodtke

Regional Operations Director US

Mike joined GKN in 1996 and holds a Bachelor’s  degree in Technology Management, a 6 Sigma Black belt, and graduate of GKN’s SCIL (Site Continuous Improvement Leader) and MCIL (Management Continuous Improvement Leader) programs.  He has held various roles in Product Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Continuous Improvement, Plant Management, and Quality Management. Mike has lead the business through many CI activities through the Armstrong business units over the years.

From 1910 to the best Wheels manufacturing in the World

GKN Wheels' history dates back to 1910, when the first steel wheel was manufactured in Joseph Sankey's factory in Telford, England. Since then the business has continually evolved to meet the changing market needs from manufacturing wheels for automotive and off-highway, to armoured vehicles, tractor cabs and high volume automotive chassis, telephone kiosks, wheelbarrows and war time spitfires.

The Beginning

The story of GKN was forged in the first fires of the Industrial Revolution. It is a story of change and innovation taking in the birth of rail, the invention of the car, the development of flight and man’s adventures in space.

The GKN story began with the founding of the Dowlais Ironworks Co. on 19 September 1759 in Dowlais, near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. Few can have imagined how this small business would develop during the next 250 years.

The Wheel

GKN Wheels' history dates back to the early 1900's.  In 1908, Jospeh Sankeys developed and patented the first pressed and welded, detachable motor car wheel, known as the ‘All Steel Wheel’.  In June 1910 the wheel went into production at the Hadley Castle Works in Telford, England — the home of GKN Wheels today

Since then the business has continually evolved to meet the changing market needs from manufacturing wheels for automotive and off-highway, to armoured vehicles, tractor cabs and high volume automotive chassis, telephone kiosks, wheelbarrows and wartime spitfires.

The steel wheel was strong, mass-produced, economical and represented a leap forward for industry at the time. It may have been a simple spoked design but it bore the hallmarks of a company growing through innovative products and delivering solutions to the marketplace in a cost-effective way.


Today, with extensive experience in off-highway markets, GKN Wheels has built a leading organisation that develops innovative solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. Driven by a constant desire to provide engineering excellence, they design technologically advanced products that allow customers to be both efficient and environmentally sustainable.

GKN Wheels has extensive product design and development capabilities to meet changing client and market needs in the most challenging environments.  Investment in research and development, and commitment to engineering and design excellence lies at the heart of its business strategy and it has a renowned reputation. The products we produce showcase outstanding durability, ease of use and low operating costs.

We are working on industry-leading innovations that will meet the demand for bigger payloads, increased speed and ever more stringent technical specifications. Offering customers and markets support locations globally, with manufacturing bases in Denmark, the UK and USA as well as major, world-class test centres in Brescia, Italy and Illinois, USA.

At GKN Wheels we truly support our customers and markets with a global reach and local presence.


GKN Wheels supports the local communities in which it operates and encourages ethical policies, practices and initiatives across its businesses.


The health and safety of our employees and those who interact with us, our facilities and our products is always a priority.


At GKN Wheels we can deliver bespoke training sessions for your teams.


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