Giant looks to Japan and Southeast Asia for growth as Chinese market slows

Giant has outlined ambitions to do more business in Japan and Southeast Asia following a gloomy set of financial results.

In the latest set of financials the world’s largest bike maker saw a revenue dip of 6.5% during the first nine months of 2016. Giant’s turnover for the period amounted to TWD 44.23 Billion, with operating income taking a 19.9% hit year-on-year.

Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review following the release of the figures, CEO Tony Lo explained that the Chinese market for bicycles had tanked.

“Beginning last year, this year, and next year, the China market will be down,” Lo told the site. “We see rapid growth in the Southeast Asia although revenue contribution is still low. It took us 30 years to develop the culture of cycling in Taiwan, and in China, i took us 20 years. I think it will take us around 10 years for Southeast Asia to pick up this cycling trend.”

When assessing the fortunes of Giant across the globe, the latest figures evidence a sharp decline in China’s worth to Giants business, which in FY 2015 amounted to 24% of trade. Thus far in FY 2016 it now looks to be worth just 20%.

The slack has been picked up a little by Japan and Europe, which have both posted share growth in Giant’s business. Europe, North America and China represent over 70% of Giant’s NT$60.4 billion revenue. This, outlines Lo, is where Japan (5%) and Southeast Asian market’s (-1%) can build on a relatively small base.

Speaking on global markets, Lo said that Giant would continue to hire local expertise in order to blend in.

“In Japan, we look like a Japanese company and in the U.K., we would look like a U.K. company.”

Read Lo’s full interview here.