Thu, Mar 17, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Sudden spike in demand for bicycles in Japan strains supply: manufacturer

Staff Writer, with CNA

A resident rides a bicycle in snowy weather in quake-ravaged Sendai in northeastern Japan yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Giant Manufacturing Co (巨大機械), the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer, said yesterday the shopping rush for bicycles in some quake-affected areas in Japan will strain the supply of bicycles on the market.

Media reports have said bicycles were sold out in some disaster areas in Japan, including Tokyo.

“The earthquake will definitely increase demand for bicycles for a period of time, but it will also lead to supply problems,” Giant Manufacturing chairman King Liu (劉金標) said on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Taipei International Cycle Show, which will run through Saturday at the Taipei World Trade Center’s Nangang Exhibition Hall.

“The temporary demand is not good for the whole industry and our company because we have operated with the expectation of a balance between the market supply and demand,” he said.

Although Giant is taking emergency measures to increase the bicycle supply to Japan, the company still faces difficulties meeting the heightened demand, Liu said.

Giant sells 1 million bicycles to Japan a year, representing roughly 10 percent of Japan’s annual import of bicycles, he said.

Japan is the fifth-largest export destination for Taiwanese bicycles, accounting for 5.36 percent of exports last year, behind the US (21.45 percent), the Netherlands (13.05 percent), Britain (12.73 percent) and Germany (8.41 percent).

Last year, shipments of Taiwan’s assembled bicycles rose 17.87 percent to 5.07 million units from the previous year, with total revenue growing 20.24 percent to NT$44.25 billion (US$1.5 billion), according to the Bureau of Foreign Trade.

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