Posted: September 10, 2009

Lithium-Ion Battery Maker Ener1 Names New President

(Nanowerk News) Ener1, Inc. Advanced lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel, Inc. today named Richard L. Stanley as company President. Stanley is a proven leader with 30 years' global manufacturing and management experience and a distinguished record of creating new business lines. The move is one of three new executive appointments designed to position EnerDel for continued success in the next phases of its commercial evolution. The announcements come as automakers worldwide expand their commitment to hybrid and electric drive technologies and new market opportunities emerge in utility grid energy storage.
"Rick is an outstanding team leader who has built his resume through building businesses in both economically challenging times and fast growth cycles," said Charles Gassenheimer, CEO of EnerDel parent company Ener1, Inc. (Nasdaq: HEV). "He has proven that he can consistently deliver growth and profitability under even the toughest conditions. His extraordinary combination of skills, relationships and experience will drive EnerDel's major customer-focused manufacturing programs in a lean, low-cost environment as we transition to full-scale commercial production."
As President of Remy, Inc., the largest division of Remy International (formerly Delco Remy International), Stanley achieved a 58-percent increase in revenue, from $500 million to nearly $800 million, through a combination of organic growth, new customer development and corporate acquisitions from 1998 to 2006, a period when the industry as a whole was facing stiff pressures. He also led the company's entry into new and emerging markets, including a range of technologies for hybrid vehicles, and diversified the customer base by winning new business from Audi, Daimler-Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Kohler, Nissan and Volkswagen.
Earlier Stanley was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Automotive Systems at Remy International, managing a $250 million business unit with 1,500 employees while increasing pre-tax operating margins (EBIT) five-fold. That followed a 16-year rise through a series of increasingly senior engineering and management positions with GM's Delco Remy Division, culminating as Director of Customer Programs, where he was responsible for $1.2 billion in yearly sales.
Stanley spent the past two years as President of the ATC Drivetrain arm of ATC Technology Corporation, where customers included Allison, Aston Martin, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Isuzu, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Opel, Peugeot, Saab and Subaru. Stanley holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Manufacturing Management from Kettering University.
"EnerDel is one of a handful of companies playing a fundamental role in transforming the basic technology of automotive transportation," Stanley said. "As carmakers race to meet new fuel economy standards, electric drivetrain suppliers are going to be scaling up their operations dramatically while maintaining the quality and costs that those customers demand. We're also seeing significant new opportunities emerging on the electric utility grid. I can't think of a more exciting place to be right now."
EnerDel's two factories in Indianapolis are the first -- and so far only -- commercial-scale automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in the United States. The company was recently awarded a $118.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy under the federal stimulus program, and is awaiting approval of additional long-term, low-interest loan funds under the agency's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. The company has announced active supply relationships with Think Global, Fisker and Volvo, and a research partnership with Nissan.
Ulrik Grape, who as CEO successfully led EnerDel through a ground-breaking expansion including massive capital investment, winning its first customer contracts, and installation of a state-of-the-art mass production line, has now been appointed President of Ener1 Europe. The division is being created to meet growing demand for electric drive and battery technology among the continent's top automakers as well as other business opportunities involving energy storage applications. There, Grape is expected to draw heavily on his experience launching several new start-ups in his career.
"European automakers are really setting the pace in terms of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle development and the build-out of utility grid infrastructure needed to maximize their operating advantages," Grape said. "We are always going to be an American company. But many of our core customer relationships are in Europe, and it now becomes crucial to establish ourselves with a commanding presence in a market where we expect to aggressively build out our business. We're also looking ahead to a time when business growth makes it sensible to extend custom-tailored pack assembly capacity closer to where customers need it."
EnerDel also announced today that Robert (Bob) Lawson, who oversaw Delco Remy's expansive customer relationships with global OEMs and has managed automotive manufacturing operations around the world, will become Vice President of Business Development for North America for EnerDel, focused on the vehicle applications side of the business.
Lawson was a founding member of the executive team that acquired Delco Remy from GM in 1994 and helped pioneer the start up and financial turnaround of the new company. He has 17 years experience as the senior executive negotiator with major OEMs. As Senior Vice President Global OE Operations at Remy, he was responsible for manufacturing operations in the U.S., China, Korea, Poland, Brazil, Mexico.
Before that, Lawson lead sales and marketing strategies for Remy's automotive and heavy duty OE divisions, generating yearly revenue of $800 million. During that time he won key contracts for a next-generation hybrid drive system competing with Toyota. From 2002 to 2006 he was Senior Vice President and General Manager of the automotive division, responsible for a $400 million global P&L.
"Some companies have tried to build their battery business from the outside in. But at the end of the day this is still an automotive venture that requires strong experience in the industry and a thorough understanding of the customer's technical needs," Lawson said. "That's where EnerDel's deep roots in this industry and solid grounding in Indiana's proud automotive heritage will give us an important competitive advantage."
Lawson began his career with GM's former Delco Remy Division in 1973, and retired from Remy International in 2007. For the past two years he has had a successful independent automotive consulting business. A native of Anderson, Indiana, Lawson attended Purdue University where he received a MS from the College of Technology and a BS for the Krannert School of Management.
About Ener1, Inc.
Ener1 develops and manufactures compact, high performance lithium-ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. The publicly traded company (Nasdaq: HEV) is led by an experienced team of engineers and energy system experts at its EnerDel subsidiary located in Indiana. In addition to the automobile market, applications for Ener1 lithium-ion battery technology include the military, grid storage and other growing markets. Ener1 also develops commercial fuel cell products through its EnerFuel subsidiary and nanotechnology-based materials and manufacturing processes for batteries and other applications through its NanoEner subsidiary.
Source: Ener1 (press release)
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