TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN)—A-Team chairman Michael Tseng asked the organization’s members at a general meeting yesterday to increase production on the island so that Taiwan’s major bicycle manufacturers need import fewer components from offshore.
Merida’s Tseng, who assumed the role of chairman from Giant’s Tony Lo this year, told A-Team members that imports of parts to the island were valued at $760 million last year, but exports were valued at only $548 million. In addition, he said, imports to the island are increasing more rapidly than exports.
“That means Merida and Giant import more and more high-end components from other countries,” Tseng said. “It means our own A-Team members, you have to try hard to export more parts to outside Taiwan. It means key members here like SRAM, DT and Hayes, please produce more product on this island so we don’t have to import so many key components from outside the island.”
Tseng said the organization, created six years ago to revive the island nation’s bicycle industry in the face of aggressive price competition from mainland China, aims to speed delivery times of components to Giant and Merida from nine days to seven days in the next two years. He said all members should be aware of these accelerated delivery goals.
“If we can change this number, I think Taiwan is in a very strong power position to supply very high-end models worldwide,” Tseng said.
Tseng said the A-Team will focus this year on marketing the A-Team brand. The organization is launching a web site designed to promote its members and its goals.
The organization also is developing A-Team branded bikes, samples of which are on display at the A-Team booth at the Taipei Cycle Show. The Giant and Merida frames feature A-Team decals and use components produced by A-Team member companies in Taiwan.
The A-Team will sell the bikes in the domestic Taiwan market this year as part of an effort to stoke enthusiasm for cycling on the island. Tseng said well-publicized rides such as the A-Team’s Tour de Taiwan and Liv / Giant’s Rolling Rose women’s ride are creating passion for cycling on the island.