NAME: Victor Lin
COMPANY: VP Components
POSITION: Managing Director
Most components companies in Taiwan are relatively small affairs. VP Components’ Victor Lin, who founded the company in 1981, now oversees 1,450 employees, some 350 of whom are in Taiwan.
“For a parts maker in Taiwan, that is very many employees,” said Evangeline Lin, Victor’s daughter.
The elder Lin had worked for a manufacturer of bicycle parts before he decided to begin his own company.
“The early 80’s were a time of transition from bicycle manufacture in Japan to Taiwan,” he said. “As I was familiar with the bicycle industry I wanted to take part in the growth that was about to take place by aiming for quality and reliability in our products and service.”
The company’s original name was Victor Pedals, but as it branched into other products officials decided to streamline the name. As VP asks on its Web site, “... would you want to buy a Victor Pedal headset?”
From a single factory in Taichung County, VP now operates two factories in Taiwan, four in mainland China and one in Vietnam, with annual sales of about $80 million.
The VP operations produce pedals (of course), headsets, bottom brackets and hubs from the high end down. VP supplies such brands as Cane Creek, Look, GT and Mongoose but also is trying to promote its own VP One brand.
VP has been around long enough to spin off a company. It’s Exustar, which makes cycling shoes. Exustar is an outgrowth of a high-end line called Exus that VP introduced in 1993.
In addition to Evangeline, who works closely with her father at VP, Lin has a son, Eisen, 26. He enjoys golfing and cycling.
The Tour de Taiwan typifies the unusual relationships between Taiwan bicycle companies.
“Taiwan’s bicycle industry is really a team,” Evangeline Lin said. “No matter if they are a competitor, they are still like friends.”