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Taichung Bike Week dates move into October for 2015, organizers decide

Published December 4, 2014

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Organizers at Taichung Bike Week are moving the dates for next year's meetings into October, approximately two weeks earlier than this year's event held during the first week of November. The new dates, Oct 20-23, 2015, were announced on the TBW website. 

Originally, TBW was held in December and has moved steadily forward on the calendar as the industry's pre-production planning continues to start earlier in the cycle. As in years past, the three main hotels will be the Evergreen, Tempus and Splendor.

The new dates will better accommodate U.S. and some European product managers who have in the past said the informal trade show was too late in the season. But bubbling in the background are quiet moves by some who want to see TBW housed in what could be a future exhibition center near Taichung's airport — a move many companies would resist because of the added cost.

Currently, OE exhibitors rent hotel rooms and hold private meetings with product managers and others. It's informal, inexpensive and offers a level of privacy not found at a typical trade show. However, it's uncertain after recently concluded elections what the city of Taichung's position would be on building a formal center.

National elections last week led to the ouster of longtime Taichung Mayor Joseph Hu, 64, who had been a supporter of the city's involvement in the event and is well-known among bicycle industry executives.

One U.S. executive living in Taichung said the incoming mayor, Lin Chia-long, is unfamiliar with Taichung Bike Week and it's uncertain whether the city would continue its backing of the weeklong gathering. Curiously, Hu beat Chia-long nine years ago in an election for the mayor's position.

Chia-long, 50, holds a doctorate in political science from Yale University. He is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party and is a vocal supporter of pro-democracy and human rights activists in China — a position that wins few friends among China's ruling elite.

He is also an outspoken critic of President Ma Ying-jeon and the Kuomintang Party (KMT). Ying-jeon has long sought to ease tensions with China, a stance that in the past has led to quiet support from Taiwanese manufacturers who have substantial investments on the Mainland.

But Ying-jeon's China policies, a weak economy and a backlash among Taiwanese youth supporting the Mainland's pro-democracy movements led to a national upset for the KMT, including the loss of Taichung, long a bastion of KMT support, to Chia-long.

Despite the changes at Taichung's city hall, Pro-Lite's Steve Fenton, one of the event's organizers, told BRAIN that this year's show "was a massive success and we are working hard to make sure we always find ways to improve."

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