From January to July 2022, the export value of Taiwan’s bicycle, e-bikes, and bicycle parts reached $3.5 billion (€3.5 billion), with a year-on-year growth of 29%. Notably, the growth of Taiwan’s e-bike exports has surpassed bicycles. For the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) it is time to rebrand the Taipei Cycle Show with a focus on sustainability.
The pandemic and subsequent supply chain constraints sparked a major transformation of the e-bike and bicycle industry in Taiwan. “In 2023, Taipei Cycle will be rebranded,” announced TAITRA chairman James Huang. “The show will be focusing on five key themes in sustainability, including resilient supply chain, digital connections, vibrant innovations, dynamic lifestyle and sustainable moves. These themes will cover supply chain, OEM, brands, smart wearables, training software and equipment, and bike tour services.”
Momentum for e-bikes
The industry in Taiwan wants to take the momentum now e-bikes and bicycles are in the centre of all attention. TAITRA expects that e-bike exports will exceed traditional bicycles by 2025. Whether this will also bring more new jobs was not mentioned during the TAITRA press conference held on 13th September. According to James Huang, the industry currently employs 20,000 people. Nevertheless, the relevance of the industry for the national economy is limited. Obviously, the IT and electronics industry are dominating the economy. The e-bike and bicycle industry represent just over 1% of the country’s total export.
Taiwan’s IT industry
During the panel discussion, Robert Wu, President of KMC, stated, “With people becoming more accepting of healthier and more sustainable lifestyles, support for a market that focuses on smart devices and sustainability has dramatically increased. As a result, Taiwan’s bicycle industry has a great standing point due to its strong supply chain and its strategic positioning in technologies.” Wu was not only referring to the bicycle industry, but more importantly the IT industry which plays a decisive role in the country’s economy. The combination of both industries will play an important role in the future developments of Taiwan’s e-bike industry.
Taipei Cycle d&i awards open for entries
In 2023 the Taipei Cycle d&I awards will return with aim of ‘taking bicycle design to the next level’. Registration has now opened for what is considered one of the most important competitions in the cycling industry. The Gold Award – Green Prize will recognise products manufactured according to sustainable principles.
Taipei Cycle show organisers, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Taiwan Bicycle Association, have again commissioned iF Design ASIA Ltd. to organise the competition. Bicycle designers, manufacturers, and retailers are being invited to present their latest R&D achievements by 12 December 2022.
Sustainability has also entered the d&I awards with the introduction of the Gold Award – Green Prize which will be awarded to products designed and incorporated using the 3R principles (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) into manufacturing, materials, and usage processes.
The winners of the d&i awards 2023 will be selected by experts from around the world. Those who perform outstandingly in terms of design and innovation can win the Taipei Cycle Gold Award. The special prize Gold Award – Young Enterprise will be awarded to new companies established after 1 January 2019.
Giant Group spearheads Taiwanese bicycle industry sustainability alliance
Some of the biggest players from Taiwan’s bicycle industry are joining forces in an alliance to focus on reducing the carbon footprint in the bicycle industry supply chain. With over 30 members already signed up, Giant Group is inviting more to come forward to join the newly formed Bicycle Alliance for Sustainability (BAS).
The goal of the BAS is to create a coalition for the industry to interact, share ideas, and develop new environment, social and governance (ESG) initiatives to help the bicycle industry move towards more sustainable production practices. Bonnie Tu, chairperson of Giant Group, together with CEO Young Liu, invited influential leaders from the bicycle industry to discuss the possibility of an ESG alliance. Big names players that are already participating in the alliance include Merida, SR Suntour, Tektro, Sram, Trek, Marwi, Maxxis and Fritz Jou.
The Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA) also participated in the initial meeting. TBA Secretary General Gina Chang said; “Exporting products to the European Union requires more and more detailed specifications of the country of origin for all components and ESG regulations are changing very quickly.”