At its annual presentation at Eurobike, TAITRA (the Taiwan Trade Development Council) presented current figures and examples illustrating the financial and manufacturing development of Taiwan’s bicycle producing industry to members of the international media.
The event opened with special remarks by Dr Tschen-Fong Wu, Deputy Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the Federal Republic of Germany. The Chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association (TBEA), Antony Lo, then shared his insights into the global bicycle supply chain, as well as the supply chain originating in Taiwan.
Manufacturers of five leading Taiwanese bicycle brands showcased products innovations for 2013, attesting to Taiwan’s steadily advancing reputation as a global supplier of high-end bicycle products.
Dr Tschen-Fong Wu remarked that Germany is one of Taiwan’s largest trading partners in the bicycle industry, with a key role in Europe and worldwide. So far in 2012, out of a total international export volume of US$802 million, US$307 million has resulted from trade within the European Union, or 46% of Taiwan’s total bicycle product exports so far this year.
Reports reveal that Taiwan’s bicycle exports rose in 2011 to over US$1.6 billion dollars – from US$1.5 billion in 2010 – reflecting an average bicycle price of approximately US$380, and a total of 4.3 million exported units.
Taiwan’s major export markets receiving these were the European Union (62.8%), North America (16.5%), and Japan (6.1%). The top European export markets by value were, respectively, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Norway and Switzerland.
Antony Lo, TBEA Chairman and President of Giant Bicycles, remarked on the quality versus quantity of bicycle related orders thus far this year in Taiwan, asserting his optimism despite general global economic difficulties.
In the first seven months of 2012, while orders have gone down 4% in quantity, actual revenues have gone up 4%. Lo sees this very optimistically, and as a positive sign with respect to the quality of the bicycle products produced in Taiwan today. “We have gone from an OEM producing land to high-tech for the first market,” he proudly stated.
Responding to media questions, Lo expressed his satisfaction at the trend toward increased spending globally for high-end bicycle products. He asserted his belief that this positive recreational trend would continue, basing his views on the increase in concern for personal fitness, as well as the environment.
Asked about TBEA’s involvement in the advancement of the sport and its tactical support of international bicycle associations, Lo divulged that the Taiwanese bicycle manufacturers’ organization had signed three year strategic partnership agreements pledging to support efforts of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) in Europe and the American Cycling Association (ACA) in North America, assuring TBEA’s continuing involvement and good partnership and collaboration with these associations.
Lo noted that Taiwan is “joining forces to create a healthier, more vital global cycling market.”
Giant Bicycles introduced two ‘flagship’ models in its 2013 collection, featuring advanced-grade composite materials. The Anthem X Advanced 29er 0, engineered for competitive cross-country riders, is handcrafted with an advanced-grade composite front triangle and ALUXX SL aluminium rear swing arm. The XtC Advanced SL Zero I, weighing just over 7kg, is the first 29er to use Advanced SL-grade composite, Giant’s top-of-the line frame material.
Tern Bicycles, dedicated to the goal of designing and manufacturing bicycles for urban transport with a focus on portability and utility, exhibited its two Eurobike 2012 Award winners, the Swoop Duo and Eclipse X20 models; the latter is equipped with 20-speed road gearing and Kinetix Pro wheels. Also presented was the company’s BioLogic components and accessory line.
Ming Cycle’s folding bike Strida EVO KS-3, was also highlighted, demonstrating the bike’s unique ability to shift while pedalling backwards into all three gears, eliminating shifter and cables from the bike’s silhouette completely. This lightweight bike (12.5kg) folds quickly after which it can be wheeled effortlessly with one hand.
KMC Chain featured its X Series (X2.0) chain, with an ‘over chamfering’ and ‘mud shedding’ design, as well as a pallet of colours to compliment current bike trends. The new chain series was in place in London this summer for Olympic winners Maris Strombergs, Sabine Split and Julie Bresset.
Kenda Rubber demonstrated the fast and reliable sealing properties of its new SCT tyre, introduced for 2013 as a cross between a tube type and a UST type tyre. The special tyre casing reacts quickly to a liquid sealant, which seals punctures in seconds.
“Taiwan’s bicycle industry has developed by leaps and bounds during its over 50 year history; making the country into the ‘high-end bicycle kingdom’ it is today,” said Frieda Hung, Director of Taiwan Trade Centre Munich, in her welcoming remarks.
“Many consumers are surprised to learn that the top-grade bicycles they see in shops across the world are in fact made in Taiwan. In addition, local manufacturers have been trying to break away from their traditional role of outsourcing service providers by enhancing quality through key tech R&D to establish their own brands.”
Hung noted, “In addition, the integrity of the island’s upstream and downstream supply chain along with its highly successful development of the China market put it at the forefront of the worldwide industry.”