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Taiwan reports 10% growth in complete bike exports in 2015

Published March 2, 2016
Mountain bike exports were strongest; complete bike sales to the U.S. and Europe saw double-digit growth.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Despite challenging global economic conditions, the Taipei Cycle Show opened on a high note Tuesday thanks to encouraging sales figures presented by the Taiwan Bicycle Association at the show's opening ceremony.

According to export figures supplied by the Customs Administration Ministry of Finance, Taiwan's bike exports reached $1.89 billion in 2015, an increase of just over 10 percent compared with the same period in 2014. These figures excluded e-bike exports, which were reported separately.

"Last year, the economy was not that good," said Tony Lo, president of the Taiwan Bicycle Association. "But that didn't deal much of a blow to the Taiwan bike industry, and we'll try even harder to keep growing."

Exports to both Europe and the U.S. saw double-digit growth in 2015. The EU accounted for 55 percent, or 2.2 million units, of Taiwan's complete bike exports in 2015. The NAFTA nations imported just over 830,000 units from Taiwan, or 20.8 percent of its total exports. Complete bike exports (excluding e-bikes) to the U.S. rose 20.9 percent, by 125,000 units in 2015. And exports to Italy experienced a whopping 96.5 percent growth with 61,000 more units shipped compared with 2014.

According to the TBA, a strong demand for mountain bikes helped fuel the growth in exports last year, and the category was the country's strongest. Taiwan exported 1,114,000 complete mountain bike units valued at USD$763 million.

Taiwan's e-bike exports are also on the rise, with an increase of more than 25 percent last year, reaching 83,000 units. Of those, 67,000 went to the EU, up 16.85 percent over 2014. And 7,043 landed in North America, a 30.48 percent increase over the previous year.

Finally, the average unit price of Taiwan's complete bike exports rose 3.27 percent from $459 in 2014 to $474 in 2015. Lo said the goal is for that value to reach $800 over the next few years.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou told the media that despite ever-increasing competition from China, manufacturing — and the bike industry — continues to grow in Taiwan.

"We're smaller, but Taiwan is capable," he said. "Our manufacturing production is behind only China, India and Brazil — countries that are much larger than ours. And of the top manufacturers in Taiwan, two are in the bike industry, and we're proud of that."

Lo and Ma Ying-jeou agreed that besides being a center for production, supply and innovation, a long-term goal is for Taiwan to also become a cycling destination.

"We want it to be an even better base for development in the industry," Lo said. "With the help of the local government, the industry here is investing in more trails and infrastructure, and projects like the U-Bike bike share. We want this island to become a paradise for all kinds of cycling."

 

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