Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year.
“Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show.
The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s biggest bicycle chain makers, told reporters.
“Understand that from February to May all of the bicycle-making countries in the world were effectively at a standstill, with only a two-month supply of components at hand — this caused a massive shortage,” Wu said.
“We are still in the process of making up that shortage,” he said. “We have not even begun to meet the virus-related increase in demand for bicycles. Those orders must stand in line and wait.”
Merida Industry Co Ltd (美利達) chairman Michael Tseng (曾崧柱) said that the “explosion in demand” is a “happy problem.”
Beset by virus-related production and retail issues, all bicycle exports, except for electric bicycles, in the first seven months of this year declined by 29.7 percent to 905,000 units from 1.28 million units in the same period last year, data compiled by the Taiwan Bicycle Association showed.
Electric bicycle exports rose in that same period to 410,000 units from 339,000 units a year earlier, association data showed.
The US is the largest export market for all bicycles, except for electric bicycles, accounting for 38.2 percent of the market, while the Netherlands is the largest export market for electric bicycles, accounting for 33.6 percent of the market, the data showed.
“I would run our production lines around the clock if I could, but we are facing a 10 percent labor shortage,” Tu said, adding that many foreign workers have not been allowed to return to Taiwan due to disease prevention efforts.
After being canceled this year, the Taipei Cycle Show is to return next year as an O2O, or online to offline, event, TAITRA president and chief executive officer Walter Yeh (葉明水) said.
“While it is, of course, best for customers to participate in person, we will make sure they get all the information they need digitally,” he said, adding that the council would help local businesses with online marketing and promotion.
Electric bicycle sales have been especially strong, growing 21 percent annually in the first seven months, despite virus-related supply issues and retail bottlenecks, Yeh said.
Although a shift to digital promotion has been hastened by the pandemic, Tu said that she expects the changes to benefit bicycle makers over the long term.
“Instead of flying journalists to news events, we can simply supply them with the information online and then deliver a sample bicycle to them to test,” she said.
The Taipei Cycle Show is to take place from March 3 to March 6 next year at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center’s halls 1 and 2.
Taipei Cycle Online, which is to debut on March 3 and continue for one month, is to include forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming from the offline show.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Tesla Inc is planning to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to other markets in Asia and Europe, people familiar with the matter said, as the company looks to realize its plan to reduce shipping costs and manufacture vehicles closer to customers. China-built Tesla Model 3s intended for delivery outside China would likely start mass production in the fourth quarter of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. They said the markets targeted include Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, where customers currently have to wait for a Tesla to
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle