GT Group, which is part of the Knorr-Bremse Group, has announced the retirement of its long-standing Managing Director, Keith Bendelow, and the appointment of his successor, Tim Jayes.

Keith retires after more than 40 years with the Peterlee-based technology specialist having begun his career with the company as a trainee before working his way up to Managing Director.

Following Knorr-Bremse’s acquisition of GT Group in 2016, Keith also become Vice President of the global Centre of Competence for Engine Air products, leading the GT business as it expanded its international presence as part of the Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems division.

A key element of GT Group’s contribution to the success of the Engine Air business are its exhaust valve systems for on-and-off-highway vehicles, construction equipment and industrial & marine engine applications.

With more than three million of its systems in operation across the world, GT Emission Systems produces more than half a million valves a year at its North East England manufacturing site in Peterlee. GT Emissions also supports, through new product development, the introduction of these products, through existing Knorr-Bremse facilities, into the commercial vehicle markets in China, India, Russia, South America and Japan.

These systems positively contribute to diesel engine manufacturers’ emission strategies and are compliant with the latest international emission targets Euro 6c/d, Tier 4 and pPNLT (Japanese emission standard).

Knorr-Bremse has appointed experienced manufacturing specialist Tim Jayes as GT Group’s Managing Director. Tim has gained extensive experience from a career that has taken him around the world, where he has held various leadership positions in operations and manufacturing at Federal Mogul, Faurecia and IAC Automotive Systems in Argentina, UK, South Africa and Sweden.

Prior to joining GT Group, Tim was, since 2012, Plant Manager at ZF Steering Systems in Sunderland.

Former Managing Director Keith Bendelow said: “I am immensely proud of my time at GT Group and the achievements we have made. The ambition of the company’s founder, Geoff Turnbull, was to create a world-class manufacturing facility here in the North East and, subsequently, the integration into Knorr-Bremse has made my career at GT Group an unbelievable experience. I would like to thank all of my colleagues, past and present, both here and at Knorr-Bremse for their support and commitment and I wish Tim all the very best for the future.”

Tim Jayes, newly-appointed Managing Director of GT Group, said: “The innovation that exists within this business, which has enabled it to become a Centre for Competence, is a major advantage for GT Group. Within the Knorr-Bremse Group, GT Group has the pedigree to maintain and grow its prominence in the global market, building a presence in new territories and developing technologies that meet the environmental ambitions of our OEM customer base.”

Thorsten Seehars, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems, said: “Keith’s dedication and commitment has been a key element of GT Group’s success over the past four decades. His many contributions to the Engine Air business, along with his strong leadership, have been invaluable to the company’s growth and financial performance.  I wish him well for the future and thank him for his dedication to the business.”

Thorsten Seehars adds: “Tim’s expertise and industry knowledge make him the ideal successor to Keith.  He brings a wealth of experience, particularly from the automotive sector that will benefit the future growth and development of GT Group and our global Engine Air activities.”