In the face of overwhelming competition from Chinese original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Taiwanese companies should speed up developing globally recognized brand names to survive, King Liu (
"We started our own brand 18 years ago, when most Taiwanese OEMs were still doing devoted manufacturing," Liu said in a key- note speech to a seminar sponsored by Chinese-language business monthly Common Wealth magazine yesterday.
"But we still feel lonely on this road," he said.
The nation's top bicycle manufacturer was a key OEM provider for several well-known brands until 1986, when it decided to create its own brand after one of its main foreign clients suddenly shifted orders to another manufacturer.
That crisis forced Giant to remake itself at a time when "made in Taiwan" was a symbol of low-quality products -- but it also proved to be a turning point for the Taichung-based manufacturer, Liu said.
According to international brand consultancy firm Interbrand, Giant has a brand value of US$210 million and ranked as the sixth most valuable brand in the country last year, after Trend Micro, ASUS, Acer, Master Kong and MAXXIS.
Well-known brands make products more marketable, so even when Giant put a US$10,000 price tag on its most luxurious bike, they sold out in a short time, Liu said, adding that the largest benefit of a well-known brand is developing loyal customers who stick to the products.
"When I was in our outlet in Shanghai, a customer told me that Giant bicycles are the most commonly stolen bikes," Liu said, laughing. "Her son has lost seven Giant bikes, yet he still wants a Giant."
Giant has established two manufacturing plants in China since 1993, one in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, and the other in Pudong near Shanghai.
Even though many local OEMs are aware of the importance of branding after seeing orders being snatched away by cheaper Chinese counterparts, few have taken any practical action and most have just moved their factories to China to save money, Liu said.
"But creating a brand name is the direction to take," he said.
Liu suggested that companies intending to develop their own brands change their company strategy first and work to improve their products on a day-by-day basis to motivate them to innovate.
Eventually, they will come up with unique products, Liu said. Of course, successful products should be combined with good marketing strategies, distribution channels and after-sales service in order to develop a dependable brand, he said.
Liu stressed the importance of the massive Chinese market, saying it is the world's supply hub with companies from all over the world as well as Chinese firms battling to grab a slice of the pie.
Giant sees China as its most important market and it is establishing its third manufacturing plant there in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in an effort to meet increasing market demand.
"Having our own distinguished brand name is the sharpest weapon [for Taiwanese companies], especially since `made in Taiwan' is now a symbol of higher value-added products," Liu said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has decided to slow down its 3-nanometer chip production as Intel Corp, one of its major customers, plans to push back the launch of its new Meteor Lake tGPU chipsets to the end of next year, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. That means Intel has canceled almost all of the 3-nanometer capacity booked for next year, with only a small amount of wafer input remaining for engineering verification, the Taipei-based researcher said in a report. Based on Intel’s original schedule, TSMC was to start producing the new chipsets in
Aptera Motors Inc cofounder Chris Anthony, left, and Formosa AdvEnergy Technology Corp chairwoman Sandy Wang pose for a photograph next to an Aptera three-wheeled solar electric vehicle at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Formosa AdvEnergy yesterday signed an agreement to supply batteries for Aptera Motors’ solar electric vehicles. Formosa Smart Energy Tech Corp, another unit of Formosa Plastics Group, will also jointly develop a new generation of lithium iron phosphate batteries with Aptera Motors, the companies said.
INDUSTRY CLUSTER: The company was invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for an industrial park in the city, where officials hope to establish a semiconductor hub Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said that the construction of a planned 12-inch wafer plant in Kaohsiung would start later this year. The chipmaker’s comments came after the Kaohsiung City Government invited the company to attend a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday at the Nanzih Technology Industrial Park (楠梓科技產業園區), where the new plant is to be built. The park would sit on the former site of a naphtha cracking plant owned by state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油). Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) yesterday did not confirm whether work on the Nanzih industrial park would begin on Sunday, but said it
‘NO NEED TO WORRY’: The central bank governor said foreign selling on the TAIEX is normal for this time of year and that the nation has ample forex reserves Taiwan would emerge unscathed from China’s retaliatory actions to protest US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, top monetary and financial officials said yesterday. Central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) shrugged off unease over potential instability in the foreign exchange and stock markets after foreign portfolio funds trimmed their holdings of local shares for two straight days amid Beijing’s threats of retaliation. “There is no need to worry,” Yang said on the sidelines of an event to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of Central American Bank for Economic Integration’s (CABEI) Taipei office and the 30th anniversary of