‘Taiwan Bike Industry Needs New DNA’
TAICHUNG, Taiwan – First on the agenda of the Taipei Cycle Forum was a Panel Debate which focused on two major matters: Taiwan’s export and the e-bike trend. Taiwan’s bike industry export is for conventional bicycles dropping hard and for e-bikes growing fast. What this brings to the business of Taiwan’s parts and complete bicycle makers was answered at the Executive Panel Debate.
This panel consisted of: Francois Liang (GM of the Cycling Industry Health Center), Helen Lin (Bicycle Component Team Leader of Decathlon Taiwan), Gina Chang (SG of Taiwan Bike Association – TBA) and Mohua Yang (Vice-President of TD Hitech Energy Co.) while Jack Lin (President of Armor Manufacturing Corp.) was leading the debate.
New DNA needed
On the topic of Taiwan’s bike export one of the striking conclusions of the Panel was “Taiwan’s bike industry needs new DNA.” This was said by Francois Liang who explained that Taiwan’s industry is to get more creative; not only in making new products but also in marketing for addressing the challenges that come with ecommerce and becoming more consumer centric. He called upon an industry consensus for attracting younger staff for the set-up of new digitized business models.
‘No innovation; no growth stimulation’
Decathlon’s Helen Lin and TBA’s Gina Chang underlined the call for more creativity as especially in conventional bicycles there’s no innovation and with that no growth stimulation. Standard bikes are being made. There’s more consumer centricity and customization needed.
Need for more ‘connected’ products
On the second debated topic – e-bikes and the need for more ‘connected’ products – one of the Panel conclusions was that they could provide for health data. TBA’s Gina Chang said “Let’s move the image of cycling from ‘green’ to ‘smart’ by having e-bikes to provide for health data on its users.”
Mohua Yang of battery maker Hitech Energy Co. supported the TBA statement as the current age is all about data. Next to that he called for the bike industry to do the same as Taiwan’s semi-conductor sector; produce closer to markets even as this means factories being relocated. Also he called for ‘smart manufacturing’; creating more versions of standardized products.