EU’s E-Bike Imports from Taiwan Growing Fast
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Are the first signs appearing of what could become a large-scale transition? Will Taiwan take-over China’s role as Europe’s biggest supplier of e-bikes? Like what happened with regular bicycles as the 48.5% anti-dumping duty for bicycles imported into the EU pushed the imports from Taiwan? The fact is that figures for 2017 and for the first four months of 2018 show a rapid growth of e-bike imports from Taiwan.
With the on May 3 ordered registration of e-bike imports from China, the European Commission indicated that dumping duties are likely to be installed and levied on such imports. Once they are imposed China’s leading supply role will be strongly diminished. Also, because it’s expected that the imposed (provisional) anti-dumping duties will be sky-high; resembling as to what the European Commission recently imposed on tyres for buses and lorries imported from China. These provisional dumping duties ranged from 80 to close to 170% per manufacturer!
Taiwan warming up
It raises the question where European importers are to turn to for meeting their e-bike demand. They shall be looking for OEM makers in Europe, but next to them also for Asian suppliers. They are likely to find these in Taiwan. In particular as the country have been warming up for becoming a serious e-bike exporter in the past years.
EU’s 2nd biggest supplier of e-bikes
According to Eurostat Taiwan ranked as Europe’s 2nd biggest supplier of e-bikes in 2017. 126,000 were imported which is three times the number of the country’s e-bike export to Europe in 2015. In that year the number stood at 43,000 units.
Preliminary figures released by Taiwan’s Customs Administration of the country’s Ministry of Finance, indicate that Taiwan’s e-bike export increased even faster in the first four months of this year compared to in 2017. Taiwan’s e-bike export reached 82,000 units, increasing 34.4% compared with the same period in 2017. During the January – April 2018 period the export of regular bicycles from Taiwan reached 740,000 units, dropping close to 12% on the 2017 figure for the January – April period.
Taiwan investing heavily in e-bikes
The since 2015 tripled e-bike import from Taiwan is caused by the fact that the country’s bike industry in investing heavily in the production of electric bicycles. Merida is maybe the best example to illustrate this trend. In March 2017 Merida announced that its new e-bike production facility was up and running since mid-2016. Production capacity stood at 10,000 units per month which since has been expanded to 25,000 e-bikes per month. Merida has added a second floor to its e-bike facility for increasing the production. The Merida announcement also said the company is working closely with Shimano for equipping the e-bikes with Steps mid-motors.
System suppliers anticipating measures
As for e-bike components, also interesting is that Yamaha is expanding its e-bike drive production. And does that not only in Japan, but also in Taiwan, at Yamaha Electronics Taiwan Co. Ltd in Taoyuan, near Taipei. Here production of Yamaha mid-motor drive systems already started in April 2016 which is mainly destined for Europe.
The same goes for Japanese owned and Shanghai based Dapu. This e-bike drive system supplier is one of the companies anticipating European anti-dumping measures on e-bikes produced in China that are exported to Europe. For that the company is moving its Shanghai based operation. By the end of this year, Dapu expects its brand-new drive system factory in Taiwan to be fully operational in order to avoid any hampering in its supply to European customers due to a possible anti-dumping duty.