Mon, May 05, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Prices of motorcycles, bicycles go up

GOING UP Increased raw material prices have forced most of the nation’s large motorcycle and bicycle manufacturers to raise their selling prices this month

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Workers at a factory assemble motorcycles on a production line in Taiwan on Friday.

PHOTO: KAO CHIA-HO, TAIPEI TIMES

Starting this month, customers will find themselves paying an extra 0.57 percent to 5 percent for motorcycles, and 5 percent to 10 percent extra for bicycles, as manufacturers raise their prices to cope with rising raw material costs.

Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業), the nation’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, which makes the KYMCO brand, said it had raised prices by NT$2,000 (US$65.67) for all of its models on Thursday, which cost between NT$40,000 and NT$348,000.

That translates into a price increase of between 0.57 percent and 5 percent for KYMCO’s motorcycles.

“It was not an easy decision for Kwang Yang to raise prices. It took a lot of courage, but we had to do it,” David Chuang (莊家政), Kwang Yang’s public relations manager, said by telephone on Saturday.

Chuang said material costs, such as steel and plastic, have increased by nearly 18 percent and 20 percent respectively over the last six months. In addition, the price of rubber has also been on the rise.

Moreover, a price war between the nation’s three major motorcycle brands has led to lower profit margins, Chuang said.

As well as Kwang Yang, local automobile and motorcycle manufacturer Sanyang Industry Co (三陽工業) has also raised prices by between NT$1,500 and NT$2,000 on Friday, whereas Yamaha Motor Taiwan Co (台灣山葉) has adopted a wait-and-see approach, Chuang said.

As for the bicycle industry, William Jeng (鄭文祥), spokesman and senior vice president of Merida Industry Co (美利達工業), which is the nation’s second-largest bicycle manufacturer, said rising raw material costs had forced the company to raise the price of all its models by between 5 percent and 10 percent.

Giant Inc (巨大集團), the nation’s largest bicycle manufacturer, also said it would start raising prices for its new models being released next month, as aluminum prices have increased by almost 10 percent from a year ago.

“The increase will be determined by the particular model, as Giant Inc sells a wide range of bicycles, with prices from as low as NT$3,000 to as much as NT$200,000,” Irene Chen (陳美惠), public relations manager at Giant Inc’s general office, said by telephone yesterday.

When asked whether the price increase would affect the company’s domestic sales, Chen said she was not worried, as bicycle riding is not a temporary fashion and has continued to grow on the back of increased awareness of health and environmental issues.

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