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Bike industry safe after Taiwan earthquake

Published April 3, 2024

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Industry members in Taiwan say Wednesday's 7.4 magnitude earthquake did little more than shake up residents and perhaps knock some products off the shelves.

The earthquake, the strongest on the island since the September 1999 Jiji earthquake, left at least nine people dead and hundreds injured, according to news reports. The quake severely damaged buildings in some cities. It was centered off the east coast of the island and affected the capital city of Taipei. However, many of Taiwan's bike factories are in Taichung, which is on the west coast.

"We received an email from our COO that all is well besides some old parts falling to the ground," said Arleigh Greenwald, who handles social media and public relations for Tern Bicycles, headquartered in Taipei.

"I'm sure a few of the thousands of stacked overstock bikes fell over, but not much else," said Mark Pippin, the Taichung-based bicycle division manager for Essanty Taiwan. "Since the earthquake was centered on the east coast, and there is no bicycle related business' over there, there will be no delays on bicycle production. It seems that there is some disruption on the HSR (High Speed Rail) but I believe this will be resolved and back going again soon," Pippin said.

Two industry professionals not in Taiwan when the earthquake hit said their Taichung businesses and employees were OK. Aaron Abrams, Marin Bikes director of product, emailed from the U.S., and Steve Fenton, Pro-lite CEO, from the Phillippines, saying all was well.

"We are doing well here in the Taichung City area," said Jerry Huang, Smart Cycling CEO. "No serious damages in the west coast."

Randall Jacobs, CEO and founder of Taiwan bike brand Thesis, also said his team was not impacted.

Ann Chen, CEO of Velo, also reported in safe. "Thank god, we, our friends and family, our staff and factories are all safe and operating normally," Chen told BRAIN. 

A building in Hualien County, Taiwan, on Wednesday. Photo released by Taiwan Presidential Office.

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