TAICHUNG, Taiwan (January 22) - Giant focuses on Revive recumbents and electric bikes for the near future. After the near-demise of the mountainbike market, industry giant, Giant is reinventing the bicycle. Or so at least they claim. President Tony Lo explains it like this: "We tried to make the best roadbikes - and succeeded- but the roadbike was a European invention, when the MTB came to the market we did the same: but the MTB was an American idea. Now we are trying to do some unique things - get our innovative power more into the foreground."
The company started work on the Revive recumbent after it's founder, the now 69 year old King Liu had back-surgery and needed a bike that allowed him to exercise without pain. Hence the Revive idea was born, and according to Giant's claims the bike has upped the sales with 10% to some US$ 530 million (€ 419 mn) last year. This has strengthened the desire to innovate, and the 180 strong R&D team are focussing on 'an innovation a year' for the next years. A second focus is the Chinese market, the world's largest bike market. Giant already operates two factories in China and is planning a third. One of the desired products in the Chinese market is the electric bike - in which market Giant plans to become a major player. Total sales in China ballooned from 300.000 units just three years ago some 3 million last year and according to Tony Lo, 5 million is to be expected over the next few years. In comparison Japan and the US combined absorb just 500.000 units of that same product. It could well be that these bikes, with Chinese characteristics can be introduced to the world market - with their current sales price of USD 181. - this could be quite spectacular! The biggest challenge , however, will be the (re) inventing of a new kind of vehicle, aimed at the elderly big city dweller…(MH) source: Financial Times