The origin of Aurora Miniatures dates back to 2015 when the company was founded by a small group of model enthusiasts and industry professional designers as the Valeo-Vista Mechatronics & Technology Company Ltd. in Shenzhen, China. The company was located in the heart of the scale models manufacturing industry in southern China. In its early days, the company was largely responsible for research & development of new technologies which can be applied to scale model train and vehicle production. In addition, the company also provided contract OEM/ODM design services of scale model products to various clients around the world.
In 2017 the company ventured into actual scale model manufacturing for the local Chinese model market, selecting the ‘Aurora’ name as its branding. Over the next 2 years the company team designed three Chinese HO scale locomotives and various freight and passenger rolling stock, either for direct manufacturing or contract manufacturing.
The Canadian (and American) Connection
In 2018, the decision was made to carry over the experience and expertise gained from developing the initial foreign-prototype HO scale models over to the well-established North American model market. The new North American company was established in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A new product team consisting of members located across the United States and Canada was formed to design and develop HO scale models of North American prototypes.
The logo for Aurora Miniatures North America is a sketch of a lone coniferous tree under the Northern Lights. This was inspired by the breathtaking views during the team’s travels across Canada and the US in order to collect information for model making.
The North American product development operates independently of the Chinese team, but both sides contribute ideas in product design and improvements for product manufacturing, with a common goal of offering the best products for hobbyists on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. The two teams communicate closely with each other to share design experiences, engineering skills and techniques, which lead to various product innovations and cost savings. Contrary to many other North American companies in this industry today, all of Aurora’s products are designed and drafted by the in-house design team instead of being contracted out to an external party. This helps to maximize efficiency, shorten the product development cycle and minimize common mistakes and errors caused by outsourcing the designs.
As of 2020, Aurora Miniatures remains a business that is run solely by scale model enthusiasts – people who are serious about model trains and vehicles just like our customers. It is also one of the few scale model manufacturing companies around the world that is run exclusively by ‘Millennials’ – a generation of people with a fierce passion for the hobby and a desire to take the hobby to new heights through technological innovation. The company follows a philosophy of ‘for hobbyists, by hobbyists’, in order to create exquisite scale models for the enjoyment of modellers across the globe.