Exports of Taiwan’s bicycles grew 20% in 2010 after a nearly 10% declinel in 2009 as the island’s suppliers shipped more bikes in a recovering global economy.
The value of Taiwan’s bicycle exports rose to $1.5 billion in 2010 from $1.25 billion in 2009. Shipments totaled 5 million units in 2010, compared with 4.3 million units shipped in 2009, paced by stronger demand from the European and Latin American markets, according to data from the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association (TBEA).
The average selling price rose by 2% to $296.39 in 2010 after local bicycle companies moved up the tech ladder to sell more value-added vehicles, based on the data released earlier this month.
In December alone, Taiwan’s bicycle exports grew 36% from a year earlier to $160 million, marking their highest annual growth rate in six months. The annual rate has been growing since March last year.
“It was a very good year last year because market conditions improved,” TBEA President Tony Lo said. “For this year, we remain cautiously optimistic,” said Lo, who is also chief executive of Giant Manufacturing, the world’s biggest bike brand.
For the whole 2010, Europe was the largest export destination of Taiwan’s bicycles, followed by the United States. The two markets made up a combined 74% of Taiwan’s total bicycle exports last year.
By countries, the strongest growth was in Ireland and Lithuania. Taiwan’s bicycle exports to Ireland and Lithuania surged 294% and 263%, respectively, in 2010. Exports to Italy rose 52% and those to Brazil and the UK each gained 51% and 48% in the same period. In Latin America, exports to Chile grew 89% and exports to Argentina were up 42%.
The stellar growth bodes well for Taiwan’s major bike brands including Giant Manufacturing Co., Merida Industry Co. and Pacific Cycles.
“Innovation will be a key factor to our success in the future and we have seen a global campaign about energy saving and carbon reduction,” Lo said.
There is a new awareness of cycling globally. Electric bikes, light-weight carbon fiber frames and other non-polluting vehicles are gaining popularity if last week’s Taipei International Cycle Show was a guide.
“E-bike is one clear trend that can’t be overlooked and carbon fiber will still be the mainstream technology in the next three to five years,” William Jeng, a senior vice president at Merida’s marketing affairs department, said at the firm’s booth where it showcased a new line of innovative, energy-saving bikes.
Giant, Merida and a group of other bike-related companies from 36 countries around the world displayed their latest designs and products at the Asia’s biggest bicycle show on March 16-19. Taiwanese makers unveiled a total of 44 products, many of them have won the Taiwan Excellence Awards and the iF Design Awards.
Taiwan has been a powerhouse of personal computers but it has also seen a growing number of companies create their own brands in the bicycle industry.
Taiwan has a well developed industry infrastructure that supplies a wide array of finished road and mountain bikes, components and other accessories including helmets, gloves, lights and tires. For example, Taiwan’s Maxxis International and Kenda are global brands that provide high-quality tires for bikes as well as motorcycles and automobile.
Giant Manufacturing
Merida Industry
Pacific Cycles
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Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) was founded in 1970 to promote Taiwan’s foreign trade and competitiveness in world markets. Over the past 38 years, TAITRA has played a key role in the development of the Taiwan economy. TAITRA is jointly sponsored by the government and commercial associations and is viewed by all as the business gateway to Taiwan for the international business community.