SRAM Opens Asia Development Center
TAICHUNG, Taiwan – Last Tuesday SRAM Corp. celebrated the grand opening of a new Asia Development Center in Taichung. With it the US component maker underlines once more its strong commitment to Taiwan.
Also at the Taipei Cycle Show, which took place from March 5 – 8, SRAM expressed the strong ties it has with the Taiwan bike industry. The reason for emphazing this is in the pressure being put on SRAM as well as other parts makers to set up production in Cambodia.
This is happening because Cambodian bike makers are currently facing problems complying with one of the requirements for the duty free bike export to Europe — which is the 30% local content rule. In a presentation at Taipei Cycle SRAM President Stan Day said: “We are and will stay committed to Taiwan.”
All top executives
More than 250 people attended the grand opening of SRAM’s Asia Development Center. Almost all top executives of the members of the Taiwan bike industry alliance A-Team were there. With that they clearly wanted to show their appreciation for SRAM’s commitment to Taiwan.
SRAM’s early days
That commitment stems from SRAM’s early days, as Stan Day noted in his speech. He looked back to 1988 when he met Merida President Michael Tseng for the first time: “Back then Michael said to me that the only way Merida was going to buy Grip Shift from us was if we were to manufacture it in Taiwan. I didn’t fly home from that trip, but stayed and opened up our first Taiwan factory.”
Simple business model
Since 1988 SRAM’s Taiwan operations expanded to 3 factories with close to 2,000 employees. The new Asia Development Center holds a staff of 120 technicians and engineers.
“Our business model is simple,” said Stan Day: “Design the products with engineers who are cyclists. And do that in the market where they will be used in manufacturing. The key to doing this right is also in translating the US and German product designs to manufacturing. That’s the job of our Asia Development Center.”
SRAM’s first Asia Development Center started actually in 1997 with three engineers. The new state-of-the art complex in Taichung is the 3rd location. According to SRAM’s Asian Sales Director Billy Yu, the new 3 story building houses, among others, a material analysis lab, an engineering test lab, SRAM’s Technical University (STU), training & workshop facilities and a cafeteria.
The interior is almost equal to the last year opened European Development & Training Center (EBTC) in Schweinfurt.