Two Italian firms to start operations in Indy area

Two Italian firms with strong ties to the automotive industry plan to start production operations in central Indiana with separate projects totaling more than $35 million and creating up to 110 jobs over the next several years, state officials announced Thursday morning.

Joining Indiana Gov. Mike Pence at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, executives from both firms said Thursday they chose the locations in Speedway and Anderson for their proximity to the heart of the nation’s automotive sector.

OMR Automotive, a Brescia, Italy-based supplier for the Fiat Group, plans to locate its North American headquarters in Speedway, creating up to 60 jobs by 2016. And Cittadella, Italy-based Sirmax, a global supplier of plastic compounds and resins, intends to create a facility in Anderson, hiring up to 50 workers by 2020.

OMR said that it will spend $10 million to build and equip a 43,000-square-foot facility on a 2.5-acre campus located at 4355 Gillman St. The company also purchased an additional 2.5-acre parcel at 4743 Gillman St. for future expansion, according to state officials.

“Indiana stands out as the ideal place for our North American home base, situated in Speedway, a town known the world over for its legacy in auto racing,” said Marco Bonometti, chairman of OMR, in a prepared release. “Our team looked across the region for a place that would maximize growth opportunities for our world-class manufacturing operations, building parts in cars on roads all around the world today.”

In the new facility, OMR intends to machine and assemble automotive components for engines, transmissions and chassis. OMR will begin construction by April, and begin hiring employees by the end of the year for engineering, administration, production, quality control, and equipment mechanics positions.

OMR has 10 locations in Italy, as well as operations in India, China, Brazil and Morocco. The firm is a worldwide supplier for original equipment manufacturers in the Fiat Chrysler Group, including Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Jeep, Ferrari and Maserati. The company also serves automotive customers, including General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford and Toyota.

In Anderson, Sirmax plans to invest $25.6 million to build and equip a 140,000-square-foot facility on a 26.3-acre portion of property that formerly housed facilities for General Motors.

Expected to be operational by October, the plant will serve Sirmax's automotive and appliance customers. Sirmax expects to produce 20,000 tons of plastic compounds and resins per year at the plant. It will begin hiring employees for engineering, administration, mechanics and production positions in September.

“My wish … is that this is only the first of many steps to increase the productive capacity of the Anderson plant,” said Massimo Pavin, chief executive officer of Sirmax.

Sirmax’s products include polypropylene compounds used in automobile interiors and exteriors, as well as in household appliances, including components for washing machines, dishwashers, dryers, refrigerators and freezers. Its customers include Whirlpool, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Siemens.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has agreed to support infrastructure improvements for both projects.

For the OMR facility, IEDC  will provide the Speedway Redevelopment Commission with up to $1 million in infrastructure assistance from the state's Industrial Development Grant Fund. For the Sirmax plant, it has offered up to $600,000 to the city of Anderson from the same fund.

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