SRAM Group is investing A$490 million (10 billion New Taiwan dollars) in a new Taiwan plant, the US company announced last month.
The new plant, in Taichung’s Tanzi District, will consolidate all of the company’s existing production facilities in the east-Asian country, developed during the company’s three decades in Taiwan.
SRAM’s vice president of global manufacturing, Jeffrey Winterkorn, said the Tanzi plant would include a new R&D centre for SRAM.
SRAM employs 4,065 persons in Taichung and says the integration of its production facilities in the new plant shows the company’s decision to remain rooted in Taiwan and employ local people.
The company has operations in 16 countries and its announced commitment to Taiwan comes as some companies are reducing their reliance on manufacturing in Taiwan and other Asian countries.
UK folding bike manufacturer Brompton recently announced it is diversifying its manufacturing operations, along with constructing a new factory in England, to cut its dependence on Taiwan for a number of reasons, including supply chain issues and the threat of conflict between China and Taiwan.
The head of the Taichung City Department of Economic Development, Chang Feng-yuan, said the pandemic and global efforts to reduce carbon emissions had contributed to Taiwan’s bicycle industry achieving new output and revenue records during the past few years.
He said SRAM’s investment will further consolidate Taiwan’s bicycle parts supply chain, and is expected to stimulate relevant employment, foster the development of up- and downstream industry chains, and boost the bicycle industry’s competitiveness.
Taiwan E-Bike Exports Top One Million Units
The Taichung economy development head’s comments were echoed by figures recently released by Taiwan Board of Foreign Trade (MOEA).
Taiwan’s annual e-bike export figures passed one million units for the first time last year, following a 4.97% rise compared to 2021.
The bike manufacturing powerhouse exported a total of 1,037,286 e-bikes in 2022, according to draft statistics from MOEA.
At the same time, the average export unit price also hit a new high in 2022, climbing to US$1,497.48 (A$2,224.73). This represented a 12.49% increase above the 2021 figure and helped boost Taiwan’s total value of e-bike exports to US$1.553 billion (A$2.31 billion).
The EU was the largest recipient of Taiwan e-bikes last year and received 621,000 units, a 17.86% rise compared with the 527,000 in 2021. The 2022 figure included 370,000 units to the Netherlands, Europe’s top destination for Taiwan e-bikes, ahead of Germany (109,000) and France (38,000). The US was the second largest destination for Taiwan e-bikes (248,000), a 2.34% drop from 2022 (254,000).
However, the UK experienced a substantial 33.11% decline from 90,000 in 2021 to 60,000 last year.
In contrast to e-bike numbers, Taiwan’s total bicycle exports fell 1.65% from 1,986,937 units in 2021 to 1,954,246 in 2022.
But higher unit prices across all Taiwan bike exports lifted their aggregate value by 23.07% to US$1.617 billion (A$2.4 billion) in 2022. The average export unit price was US$827.73 (A$1,229.72), rising by 25.13% to set a new high.