Carbon Trend Goes ‘Over the Top
TAICHUNG, Taiwan – Last Week’s Taichung Bike Week (TBW) showed one trend that looks like to be ‘going over the top’. TBW presented such an overwhelming offering in carbon frames and parts, that no other conclusion can be made that overkill is taking place here and with that, over-capacity.
Taichung Bike Week which took place from November 13 – 16 in four Taichung hotels (including the hotel where the Ride-On Group stayed this year) is getting bigger and bigger. To such an extent that the primary business of Taichung Bike Week (TBW) as a series of mini shows for OEM product managers, is now being expanded. Even importers and wholesalers are now roaming the halls of the four hotels that participated in TBW this year. In addition to this new crop of visitors, the 2012 TBW also had some exhibitors with the aftermarket as their primary business.
The mini-shows for OEM product managers that took place in four Taichung hotels this year, was 30% bigger compared to last year, with 195 exhibitors. There are no official reports on the number of visitors. But they must undoubtedly be up compared to last year. The show floors, as well as the hotel hallways, were crowded in the Evergreen and Tempus hotels. And after a slow start, business picked up also in the Splendor hotel – this year a new addition to the TBW venues. The organizers anticipated a modest 2,000 visitors before the start of TBW 2012 – about the same as last year. Compared to the 2011 event, the 2012 TBW visitor numbers must be up. Way up..
What stood out at this year’s TBW was the number of carbon suppliers. More and more newcomers are stepping in this high value market segment. At every TBW hotel numerous frame and/or carbon parts suppliers presented themselves on such a level that the obvious conclusion is that over-capacity is created. And the overkill in offering doesn’t only result in pressure on prices.
Besides the price war reported on earlier by Bike Europe on this website, another phenomena related to over-capacity hits the carbon bike and parts makers now. Copycats, not only of their frame designs, are everywhere (and in particular at alibaba.com) and in such blatant fashion that even the decals and warning stickers on copycat frames are outright copies of the originals. The renowned suppliers are calling for action, as it not only seriously undermines their business, but their reputation as well.
A complete report on Taichung Bike Week 2012 with more on Model Year 2014 trends is in Bike Europe’s November edition with publication date November 29.