FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN)—The value of exports from Taiwan’s bike manufacturers shot up 31 percent in the second quarter of 2010 as the global economy recovered and fuel prices rebounded, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.
During a press conference at last week’s Eurobike show, Ying Ming Yang, chairman of the council, said exports rose to $289 million during the second quarter of the year, based on preliminary numbers from the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association.
The growth was led by the European Union, Taiwan’s largest bike market, with a 66 percent increase in exports. Exports to the EU totaled $147 million, accounting for more than half the value of all Taiwan’s exports during the quarter.
The Netherlands led the increase with a 69 percent jump in imports from Taiwan, totaling $33 million, followed by Spain, which more than doubled its imports to $11 million.
The rebound comes after a difficult 2009 when exports from the island’s bike manufacturers fell 20 percent—from 5.4 million units in 2008 to 4.3 million units last year. The value of the exports dropped 10 percent, but the average unit price rose 13 percent, signaling Taiwan’s growing importance as hub for high-end manufacturing.
Yang said he hopes the promise seen in the first half of 2010 continues, as he outlined growth expectations for the next five years.
By 2015, TAITRA wants the island’s bicycle manufacturing industry to top NT$ 110 billion ($3.4 billion) in value with an annual production capacity of 7 million units made in 850 factories by 42,500 employees.
The average selling price of a bike would rise to $400, said Yang said.
“If you talk about watches, you think about Swiss. If you talk about bicycle, we hope you think about Taiwan,” Yang said.
Last year, Taiwan’s cycling industry was worth NT $82.5 billion ($2.5 billion) with an average selling price of $290. The island produced 4.3 million units in 660 factories staffed by 31,500 employees.
Taiwan’s manufacturing industry includes 63 bike manufacturers, 242 P & A companies and 120 trading companies.