TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN)—Taiwan has recorded strong export growth in North America with bicycles during the first half of this year.
Taiwan's unit exports of bicycles to North America during the first six months of 2008 rose by 19 percent to 386,671 bikes from 325,745 bikes in the same period a year earlier, according to statistics from the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters' Association. By value, Taiwan's bicycle exports to North America gained 20 percent to $142.6 million from $118.5 million in the same period a year ago.
Taiwan is aiming for global industry leadership as consumers around the world embrace bicycles and other sustainable lifestyle choices. With gas prices soaring, cars are losing appeal for many environmentally-aware and budget-conscious American consumers.
"Around the world, consumers realize that by riding a bicycle instead of driving a car, they can not only improve their health, but also help to improve the environment," said Jeffrey Sheu, spokesman for Taiwan's Giant Manufacturing Co., the world's largest bicycle maker. Giant will increase its branded stores outside the Greater China region to 100 by 2010, growing from 10 this year and two last year, the company said.
Taiwan, also known as the bicycle kingdom, is the leading exporter of high and medium-range bicycles. It is home to some of the world's biggest bicycle manufacturers, which supply a wide array of finished bikes, components and accessories to the global market.