Anniversary Campaign Dahon
This year Dahon celebrates its ’30 Years Strong’ anniversary campaign. It emphasizes the company as one of the pioneers of the folding bicycle with a rich history that has laid the pathway for the future.
This year Dahon celebrates its ‘30 Years Strong’ anniversary campaign. It emphasizes the company as one of the pioneers of the folding bicycle with a rich history that has laid the pathway for the future. Officially launched at Taipei Cycle Show in February, the campaign runs throughout the 2012-13 season and has a strong online presence.
Part of the campaign incorporates the “30 Years of Me and My Dahon” photography and video competition on www.dahonbikes.com, Facebook and YouTube. As part of the activities, Dahon is producing 30 Limited Edition and 3000 replica bikes to be used for promotional purposes and is releasing a special Anniversary film, a traveling display of authentic Dahon memorabilia and hosting various anniversary celebrations.
The Dahon brand is a well-known name in the bike industry, yet not many people know how the company came into existence. Beginning in Hong Kong, Dr. David Hon grew up working part-time as an illustrator for his parents’ clothing workshop, before moving to the USA at the age of 19. He then went on to complete his education at UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC.
After attaining his Ph.D. in solid state physics in 1971, he joined the Hughes Aircraft Company, to work in the research and development of tactical lasers and became known for his work on high power laser frequency doubling.
Spurred by an oil crisis of the 1970s, Dr. Hon saw an immediate need for a better form of urban transportation rather than relying on gas-guzzling cars. Recalling his college days, when he had dismantled his bike to pack it into his car, Dr. Hon began to create a folding bicycle that didn’t wobble or tremble, but rode like a regular bike.
Seeing a good idea in the making, his brother Henry Hon, who had achieved success from his lucrative computer consulting business, financed these first efforts. The first Dahon working prototype, presented at the New York Bike Show, received rave reviews. Dr Hon was soon launching his second career, fortified by $2 million in funding raised from 35 visionary investors, including the pop star duo, the Carpenters, and Acer computers.
Looking for partners
Hoping to find an OEM partner to produce their modernized folding bicycle, the brothers called on many of the major bicycle brands in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan and China—but no one was interested in this kind of “niche” product. Manufacturers felt it was too technical or too risky. A bold decision was made to take matters into their own hands and establish the brand independently in 1982.
One year later, the first factory in Taiwan was built and Hon Machinery Taiwan, Inc. was established. Shiny, stainless steel “Hon Convertibles” began rolling off the assembly line by 1984. In the first six months of that year, 6,000 bikes were built and sold.
Following their success, Dr. Hon and Henry began to expand, taking their business to Europe and China by starting Dahon Europe in the Netherlands and opening a second factory in Shenzhen. Throughout the 2000s, the Dahon brand was winning product and design awards from around the world, as well as the Taiwan Symbol of Excellence.
In 2012, Dahon is taking a stronger stance on social responsibility. Dahon will be making a large effort to conserve the environment by going paperless and improving production processes and materials, such as using non-polluting water-soluble paint. The company looks forward to what lies ahead on the Dahon pathway and is eager to continue setting industry standards in style, functionality and engineering.
Since its founding in 1982, Dahon has sold more than five million bikes, acquired over 220 patents, opened upwards of 1,100 exclusive Dahon shops in China and expanded its presence to 60 countries.
The first stainless steel “Hon Convertibles” began rolling off the assembly line by 1984.