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Structural shakeup means changes at EnerDel

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The top executive at local lithium-ion battery-pack maker EnerDel Inc. has been promoted to chief operating officer of the company's New York-based parent, Ener1 Inc., as part of a strategic corporate restructuring.

Rick L. Stanley will remain in Indianapolis as Ener1's COO, the company announced Tuesday morning. Stanley, the former president of Pendleton-based Remy International Inc., joined EnerDel a year ago.

The move is part of a plan to realign publicly traded Ener1 into three separate business segments: transportation, utility grid and small-format products.

The company said in a press release that the new alignment reflects the "main directions of development in the rapidly evolving industry. Each segment will be a separate profit-and-loss center headed by its own president, and the changes will be applied in the Americas, Europe and Asia."

EnerDel spokesman Matt Steward said each business segment will carry the Ener1 name. The EnerDel name will now be used more as a brand of advanced batteries, rather than a corporate entity, he said.

EnerDel employs about 300 people between its Hague Road headquarters, a facility in Noblesville and leased factory space in the Mount Comfort area of Hancock County. The company has said it will invest $600 million and hire 1,400 people here over the next several years as it ramps up production to 120,000 battery packs a year.

Thomas C. Goesch, a long-time exec at Delphi Automotive LLP, has been named president of Ener1's transportation group.

Goesch comes to Ener1 after 33 years at Delphi, most recently as managing director for power electronics and hybrid electric vehicle products. Ener1 acquired EnerDel's assets from its former joint-venture partner, Delphi Automotive Systems LLC, in 2008.

Ener1's new transportation group will have two segments: automotive and light-duty, and heavy-duty and military. Ener1 said this structure would make it more responsive to the electric car industry and "more fully engage" demand from the truck and bus sector, as well as U.S. military vehicle electrification programs.

"We have moved to match our functional structure with the growing differentiation and segmentation within this highly dynamic industry," Ener1 Chairman and CEO Charles Gassenheimer said.

In other management changes at Ener1, Jeffrey Seidel has been named chief financial officer after serving as Ener1's corporate strategy chief. Former EnerDel COO Naoki Ota has been appointed chief technology officer. 

The group responsible for electrical utility applications will continue to be headed by Bruce Curtis, who formerly worked as head of product development at First Solar, a top photovoltaic panel maker.

Ener1 said it plans to announce a new leader for its small-format products. The company acquired that business line in the purchase of Korean lithium-ion cell maker EnerTech International. EnerTech is now doing business under the name Ener1 Korea.

The battery packs EnerDel makes locally are for electric vehicles. The company is the supplier for Norwegian electric car maker Think.AX

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