The major international bike shows have long since set their stalls out towards the end of the European/US summer season— at a time when many brands traditionally introduced their new wares to the rest of the bike industry, and increasingly also directly to the public.
As a show Taipei Cycle was often seen in a different light, very much as an OEM based show that served brands and manufacturers over the greater public, and hence pitched its wares to the market in March (although the show is clearly evolving to be more rounded in appeal).
That was until 2018, when they made the surprising decision to pull a late one by scheduling the show to run from 31st October through 2nd November.
The date change had been suggested by the industry for many years, and following much deliberation it was decided to step more inline with these thoughts and to re-schedule. Ironically this came at a time when Eurobike decided to backpedal to a July date, which certainly keeps things more interesting, or perhaps confusing to many.
Needless to say releases of new product, along with the timing of this and the methods in which they are presented both through traditional channels and self-propelled initiatives has greatly changed the former “norms” within the industry.
Although the Taipei Cycle date change may have surprised some the organisers are not yet setting these dates in stone for the future, and will plan future show dates accordingly based around the success of this later showing, which seems like a wise plan.
During the media presentation and the visit to Taiwan we also visited a number of facilities and heard from leading figures within both the Taiwanese Bicycle Association (Michael Tseng, Chairman) and TAITRA (Walter Yeh, President) amongst others.
There’s little doubting that the Taiwanese manufacturers have seen a decline in output numbers recently, although Tseng assures us that thanks to the higher yield on e-bike sales that the bottom line financials have actually not been impacted.
Currently the Taiwanese industry is highly focussed on development and implementation of “Intelligent Manufacturing” (as is prominent in German industry) and also on product assembly, which is aimed at keeping the industry trim and competitive in the face of increasing competition form cheaper manufacturing sources in both China and Southeast Asia, some of which are Taiwanese owned.
There’s no doubting that the Taiwanese producers are well aware of global industry trends and that they are doing all within their power to hold, and even increase, their status at the innovative and quality end of the market. Given the nations leading technological manufacturing backbone it definitely gives them an edge when it comes to expertise, impelemtation and facility.