TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) -- At a press conference held at the Taipei Cycle Show, folding bicycle manufacturer Dahon announced its return to Taiwan with a new company, Dahon TW. Dahon also plans to go public on the Taiwan stock exchange.
“We were well-known and accepted in Taiwan many years ago, and now we are back,” said Dr. David Hon, Dahon founder and CEO. “ We have a great team here and are excited for the possibilities.”
Dahon TW will be led by vice general manager Cathy Chen, who will oversee the expansion of its workforce in Taiwan and promote Dahon's presence in the Taiwan market. Taiwan has always been an important area for Dahon, and Dahon TW will operate as a new subsidiary for research and development, purchasing and distribution. By going public in Taiwan, Dahon will have improved investor visibility, which the company hopes will result in greater credibility and a stronger public image.
Dahon also recently announced a new partnership with Ford Motor Company to develop an extensive line of bicycles. The bicycles will utilize Dahon's existing technologies, but design inspiration will be drawn from select Ford car models to appeal to current and potential Ford vehicle owners. Each bicycle will be designed to fold up and fit in a specific place inside the car so that it's easy to access, with the idea that car owners will always have the option to park close to their destination and finish their journey by bike.
Ford is interested in entering the bike business as a way to compete with smaller footprint vehicle manufacturers like Honda and Toyota, but to also convey to the public that the company is looking toward the future.
“Ford wants to do its part to reduce traffic congestion because the company understands that as more vehicles are on the road, a time will come when cars will stop selling in certain places, like Brazil where a traffic jam can sometimes be 100 miles long,” said Eddie Eccleston, vice president of Dahon Europe. “The folding bicycle is an opportunity to change urban mobility and give car owners a built-in option that is compatible with their vehicle and lifestyle.”
The Ford line will be available online directly from Dahon but will feature Ford branding. The licensing agreement will include 25-35 models, including two electric bicycles, and will be available at retail in the U.S. and Asia later this year.