E-Bikes Now Also Shaping Taiwan’s Industry Future
TAIPEI, Taiwan – One of the show visitors aptly expressed the current market situation as reflected by last week’s Taipei Cycle. He said, “There are hardly any mechanical bikes left to see here.” As expected Asia’s biggest B2B show was all about e-bikes. It showed that finally also the most sceptical industry players in Taiwan are now convinced that this really is the category that is to shape the industry’s future. This turnaround is prompted by the anti-dumping duties now in place for e-bikes exported from China to Europe.
Electric bikes dominated Taipei Cycle which ran from March 27 to 30. It was the show’s 32ndedition with which it returned to its original March schedule. That e-bikes were everywhere is caused by the fact that next to all of Taiwan’s OEM makers also many parts makers are now committing to electric bicycles as well as e-MTBs and speed pedelecs.
Taiwan’s industry turnaround
The earlier disinterest by Taiwan’s OEM makers in e-bikes has changed completely. This turnaround could also be prompted by the anti-dumping duties now in place for e-bikes exported from China to Europe. It blocks the Chinese e-bike producers and exporters and with that offers opportunities for Taiwan makers. Opportunities that the Taiwanese are ready to capitalize on; in particular as their business is in desperate need for growth after years of decline; particularly volume-wise.
Electric bikes dominated Taipei Cycle Show 2019
However, what’s also surfacing and what one of the Bike Europe team members was emailed on, was an offer made by a Chinese e-bike exporter of a ‘coordinated’ supply of e-bikes through an assembler in Taiwan. During the Taipei show, another example of such a course of action via Turkey came to light.
Doubts versus realities
As said, after years of decline the Taiwanese manufacturers are eagerly looking for growth opportunities. Whether an increase in production numbers is to come again is doubted by many. It’s said and thought that the sale of every e-bike comes at the cost of 2 to 3 regular bicycles. However, the latest reports on two main European markets bring to light that volume growth is now also returning. In 2018 in the Netherlands for the first time in four years the market grew also volume-wise. A total of 1,01 million units were sold.
This volume growth has been spurred by the huge increase in e-bike sales. That upped by 38% to close to 410,000 units. The same happened in Germany last year. Sales of bicycles and e-bikes combined increased 8.6 percent to 4.18 million units. E-bike sales increased big in volume (by 36 percent to 980,000 units), but also in regular bicycles sales increased; by 2 percent.
The close to 40 percent growth in sales prompted Wouter Jager, Global Retail Director at Accell Group and chairman of the bicycle section of the Dutch industry association RAI, to say: “E-bikes are becoming the new standard.” In particular as e-bikes are now the biggest bicycle category in the Netherlands while the same goes for Germany. And it is widely expected that other countries are to follow suit.