When Auria Solutions Ltd. officially went live on Sept. 15 as a U.S.-Chinese joint-venture supplier of vehicle carpet and acoustic components, it will owe its launch to a 10-year-old camaraderie between two rising managers: Brian Pour of the U.S. and Yao Ming Hua of China.
Pour, 45, who is Auria's CEO, spent 18 years of his 22-year career working in Asia, with Textron Automotive, Lear Corp. and, most recently, International Automotive Components. On Day One this week, the spun-off IAC soft-trim operations will boast approximately $1 billion in sales, 7,000 employees, 21 factories and four technical centers in North America, Asia and Europe.
Yao, 56, chairman, represents the interests of its new primary owner, Shanghai Shenda Co. Ltd. of China. Shenda, a large producer of textiles, will own 70 percent of Auria, while IAC — now refocused on interior parts encompassing the bulk of its plastics production — will own 30 percent.
That global partnership was made possible by Shenda's investment of $316.4 million in IAC's operations. That investment was, in turn, made possible by the longstanding working relationship between Pour and Yao.
"On my last assignment in Asia, I moved to Shanghai in 2007 to establish and grow IAC's business in Asia," Pour said. "We had just acquired Lear's interest in a joint venture with Shenda called SCCP — the Shanghai Car Carpet Plant. I went to see it, and the first person I met there was a gentleman named Mr. Yao. He was the plant manager.
"We hit it off great."