Taipei Cycle Leaders’ panel reveals growing role in global exports for Taiwan

A panel of industry leaders from the Taiwan bicycle industry has today expanded upon the growing role of the island nation in global exports; now said to represent 18% market share of all trade.

Opened by president and CEO of TAITRA, Walter Yeh, the seminar outlined that Government interest in catering for cycling across much of Europe had stimulated demand for Taiwan’s produce. Increases of 16.9%, 49.12%, 15.9% and 323.74% in electric bike exports to The Netherlands, United States, Germany and Sweden, have been seen respectively from January to June this year. The UK’s e-Bike imports from Taiwan declined by 18.5% in the same period.

“Sweden has become one of Taiwan’s biggest e-bike exporters this year. The reason for this is that many European countries have put subsidy into purchases of these bikes. So we are seeing a surge of demand in Europe. In the Netherlands, or in Germany, or in the U.S. we are seeing a trend. Taiwan’s bicycle industry in the future will cater for these middle and high-end markets,” said Yeh, who will soon retire following a long career in Taiwan’s industry.

Taiwan now ranks in the top three bike exporters to 50 countries around the globe; the USA being the largest importer of its goods with a 38% market share. Of those 50 countries, Taiwan is said to make up more than 30% of all imports, according to the ITC trade map.

Michael Tseng, Chair of the Taiwan Bicycle Association followed Yeh, outlining how he believed the global business would find a way to work through the pandemic.

“Taiwan is trying very hard to navigate through this Covid-19 era. Due to the pandemic we will see some restructuring work ahead, but we see Taipei Cycle as a very important platform to carry on the momentum of Taiwan’s cycling industry to explore the global markets. We see a lot of challenges coming, but I believe different sectors of the industry will work together to keep going.”

President of Giant, Ms Bonnie Tu expanded upon the challenges that presently face manufacturers and exporters, adding: “For Giant the largest impact was in February and March because the was a lockdown in China, so the production actually stopped completely at our factories. As for sales, they have not suffered too much as an extensive lockdown mainly happened in Europe. During this spell of lockdown China and America’s market were still prospering. We did sell through well in these locations. Aside from the February lockdown, the bike industry in Taiwan did very well overall.

“The major cities in Europe encouraged people to ride bikes and to school, so in London you can now see a rush hour of bikes, for example. After the hit of Covid-19, aside from commuters who ride bikes. People used to take holidays, now they stay at home and those domestic vacations usually see families go cycling.”

This morning’s press conference also delivered the news that the Taipei Cycle Show will be both a physical and a digital event.

For a deeper look at the trade picture with particular attention paid to e-Bike shipments, catch CI.N’s mid-summer round up of the data here. To recap on this morning’s conference, tune in here.