Bicycle maker Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (巨大機械) board yesterday elected a new management team, as its chairman and chief executive officer are both expected to retire by the end of the year.
Chief financial officer Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) has been appointed chairman and Young Liu (劉湧昌) as chief executive officer. The change comes as the 44-year-old company seeks to transform into a service-oriented firm on the global stage.
“Giant has been recognized as a bicycle brand for many years, and we want to improve customer services by launching ‘smart’ manufacturing and developing better marketing strategies based on customers’ preferences,” Liu told a news conference in Taipei.
“Bicycle manufacturing is a labor-intensive industry,” said Liu, who is son of founder and chairman King Liu (劉金標) and will take over Anthony Lo’s (羅祥安) position.
“There is still much room for improvement in the production processes,” Young Liu said.
Commenting on Giant’s marketing plans, Young Liu said that the company hopes to attract more customers by enhancing online-to-offline commerce services, instead of relying on its e-commerce business.
Online-to-offline commerce refers to a business strategy that attracts potential customers from online channels to physical stores.
“We found that people still prefer to buy bicycles at physical outlets, as they need professional advice,” Young Liu said.
Giant has more than 12,000 dealers in 80 countries, its Web site said.
The company declined to elaborate on its capacity target and outlet expansion plans for next year.
Asked about Giant’s outlook for the coming year, Young Liu said that he expects the company’s high-priced products to be future sales catalysts, including electric bikes and carbon fiber bikes.
“Recovering demand for electric bikes is expected to boost sales in the Chinese market by 10 percent next year,” he added.
Revenue from electric bikes made up 7 percent of the company’s total sales last year, but Giant is upbeat about the growth momentum in the sector, company spokesman Ken Li (李書耕) told the Taipei Times.
Giant’s accumulated revenue in the first 11 months of this year declined 5.97 percent year-on-year to NT$52.9 billion (US$1.7 billion). The company attributed the decline to weak sentiment in the global market.
Giant shares dropped 2.08 percent to close at NT$188.5 in Taipei trading before the announcement, underperforming the benchmark TAIEX, which fell 0.36 percent to 9,326.78 points.
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