TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN)—Next year, Taipei Cycle turns 25 and show organizers are celebrating the milestone by introducing several new features including the first D&I awards to promote innovation and design in Taiwanese products; holding the show in conjunction with the 39-year-old sporting goods show and first diving and water sports show; and opening up a separate area for bicycle accessories.
Also a first, Taipei Cycle will highlight trends in sports clothing and accessories with the Sports Textile and Accessories Expo (SPOMODE). “It will be a good place for one-stop shopping,” Walter Yeh, executive vice president of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), told 18 journalists at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Yeh predicted that next year’s edition, slated for March 7-10, may be its biggest yet with more than 3,000 booths. He expects more than 1,000 exhibitors will participate from 36 countries. The show will occupy the Nangang Exhibition Hall, as well as its sixth floor and outdoor area. And a new area, Hall 1, will open up space for 260 more booths and will accommodate new exhibitors and SPOMODE.
This year, the Tour de Taiwan, which kicks off the last day of the show, will attract some of the world’s top racers as the UCI has upgraded it to a 2.1 Class event. “Stars from the Tour de France will be here,” Yeh said.
Tony Lo, chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters Association, said Taiwan has become a vital part of the industry and continues to set itself apart as a supplier of high-end bicycles and parts. As such, the Taipei show is the place to identify what’s important and what’s coming down the pipeline—“and it’s for all, not just dealers.”
Through the first 10 months of the year, the island nation exported 3.63 million bikes, he said. While this represents a decline of 14 percent compared to the same period last year, export value rose to $1.3 billion, or 12.5 percent. The average export price of a Taiwanese bike is $372, more than a 30 percent increase.
Exports to Europe were down through October, but shipments to North America were up 2.4 percent to 640,000 units. Average unit price was $578, a 25 percent increase. Total value was $370 million, a 28 percent increase.
All these numbers suggest that the cycling industry still has a strong foundation, Lo said. “In most countries, bicycle sales are up,” Lo noted. Plus, there’s new growth in emerging markets like China, he added.
Duties on bike exports between China and Taiwan will drop to zero in January as part of the ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement), which presents a good opportunity for Taiwan manufacturers to further expand sales, Lo said.
To showcase the island’s manufacturing capabilities, TAITRA invited a record number of journalists from around the world to tour six factories this week. The group includes editors from Japan, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada, Singapore, Korea, Brazil and the U.S.
Photo: Left to right: Liang-Tai Lin, director general of the Transportation Bureau for Taichung City Government; Walter Yeh, executive vice president of TAITRA; and Tony Lo, TBEA chairman, addressed media at a pre-show press conference Tuesday morning in Taichung’s Windsor Hotel.