Yasar Khan has launched a drive to win work making gearbox parts for electric cars at Ewen Engineering in Tinsley.
He bought the firm out of administration, saving all 16 jobs, due to the “quality and potential” of its highly-skilled staff.
Now he has unveiled a five-year plan to capitalise on their hundreds of years of experience and reputation for precision parts in a new and expanding industry.
Ewen is pitching for work and responding to tenders from ‘tier one’ suppliers who sell their products to car makers.
Mr Khan is a Surrey-based accountant who specialises in turning businesses around. He has an “affinity” for engineering firms after studying electrical engineering at Cambridge University and Ewen is his third acquisition.
He added: “I’ve acted as a consultant for clients loads of times. This is exciting for me because I always wanted to do it for myself. This is not about the money, I want to leave something I’m proud of. We are getting into automotive in a big way.”
Mr Khan also owns Certa Engineering in Chertsey, which employs 20 and was formed from the merger of two other companies.
All three had great customers and very experienced staff but “weren’t run very well,” before he took over, he said.
Ewen was owned by an Indian firm for two-and-a-half years. It moved to larger premises on Tinsley Industrial Estate but ran out of cash and bosses called in administrators in August.
The company, which was set up in 1970, has built a reputation for making a wide range of products, from single components to full assemblies to very tight tolerances.
Electric car gearbox components require very high precision, Mr Khan said. Under his plans, some £3m is set to be spent on new machinery and the total workforce could go from 36 to 100 - all of them in Sheffield.
He added: “There is more skilled labour. We started looking for skilled engineers and the quality of CVs and number of responses was a lot better than Surrey.
“Rents and land are cheaper in Sheffield and it’s near the M1. I’d be daft to do it in Chertsey. Plus Ewen has some lovely customers in its own right.”