Production Relocation and Rapidly Rising E-Bike Frame Demand Are THE Topics at Taipei Cycle
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Even during the opening ceremony of the 32nd Taipei Cycle Show that started yesterday and runs until Saturday, it was a subject that two of the four official speakers referred to. Normally they limit themselves to mentioning some export figures; this time they were proud to be able to say ‘welcome back’ to Taiwanese companies that choose to produce again in their home country. Production relocation is a major topic at this year’s show while the same goes for the rapidly rising demand for alloy e-bike frames.
That production relocation is triggered by EU dumping actions and U.S. tariffs. At the opening ceremony of the 2019 Taipei Cycle show Mr. Tseng Wen Sheng, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs, said, “Giant Bicycles is repatriating some of its production to Taiwan from China, supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Giant is certainly not the only one and relocation is not limited to Taiwan.
Next to Giant also Tektro and TranzX are switching (some) production back to Taiwan. Ads as things stand there are very probably more companies that will be, or already are doing the same. What helps is that it is supported by the Taiwan government that has set-up a special task force for assisting these companies and also provide them by “facilitating investments”.
Also back from China to Vietnam
What the 2019 Taipei Cycle Show is underlining is that the production of bicycles, e-bikes and bike products is changing drastically and on a massive scale. What is becoming increasingly clear is that China is losing its place as one of the most important production centers. Next to Taiwan an increasing number of Taiwanese bicycle companies are relocating their production back from China to Vietnam. Merida and SR Suntour are the bigger names (partly) switching to Vietnam with smaller others like Composite Gear following.
Rapidly growing frame problem
Next to production moves the other topic dominating discussions on the show floor are about e-bike frames. And in particular the fact that demand is outgrowing supply rapidly. That demand focusses primarily on mid to hi-end e-bike frames. What is becoming a rapidly growing problem here is that there are not enough frame makers that can meet the tolerance requirements that come with alloy e-bike that have integrated batteries. All his is taking place in a current market situation that is primarily focused on e-bikes with, as one of the Taipei Cycle visitors described it “There are hardly any regular bicycles left to see here.”