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At a glance
Coram Group
Business: The manufacturer’s five companies supply parts to the commercial vehicle, agricultural, construction and wind turbine industries
Founded: 1957
Headquarters: Cologne, Italy
Locations: Italy, Taiwan and the U.S., with recent expansions into Brazil and India
Employees: More than 200 companywide, including one in Fort Wayne
Ownership: Privately held
2012 revenue: Not disclosed

Italian parts firm to bring 35 jobs

City plant to make steering columns

An Italian manufacturer is investing $1.1 million to set up a Fort Wayne operation, which is expected to create 35 jobs by 2016.

Coram USA LLC, a subsidiary of Coram Group, now has a sales office downtown. That office and its one occupant will move into the new location after it open at 6911 Innovation Blvd.

The company will renovate the 20,000-square-foot building, which it is leasing from JD Summit & Associates, the owner.

Coram USA is buying $150,000 of new manufacturing equipment for the operation, where is will do final assembly and distribution of steering columns.

Plans call for warehousing to begin by the end of the year and production to start up in January, said Mark Wohlford, general manager. Hiring will begin later this year.

Coram USA supplies the commercial vehicle, agricultural, construction and wind turbine industries.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Coram USA $215,000 in tax credits and $50,000 in training grants, based on its job creation plans.

WorkOne Northeast has offered recruitment and training assistance.

The city of Fort Wayne will consider tax abatements that would offer an estimated $20,200 in savings.

“The city is excited to have another international company choose Fort Wayne for its North American headquarters,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. “We are excited to be able to provide a prosperous and thriving environment for Coram to continue to grow.”

Angelo Piantoni, Coram USA’s president, said in a statement that the operation will use the company’s experience and passion as a foundation for making high-quality products.

The manufacturer’s decision to open a factory and warehouse here wasn’t accidental, local officials said Monday.

Dale Buuck, vice president of business development for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, cultivated a relationship with Coram officials during economic development trips to Europe.

“It is exciting to see the contacts we’ve made … pay off in a win for the region,” Buuck said in a statement. “We’ve developed an excellent relationship with the representatives of Coram, and they have even referred us to other businesses in Italy who may have an interest in northeast Indiana.”