• Fri January 25 2002
  • Posted Jan 25, 2002
Taiwan no longer enjoys the title of "Bicycle Kingdom" as the nation's bicycle exports plunged to a 20-year low of 5.4 million units for last year, down over 30 percent from the 2000 level, according to a daily newspaper report yesterday. The newspaper reported that the export value also slid to US$500 million for last year from the year earlier-level of US$770 million. The newspaper quoted the Taiwan Bicycle Export Association (TBEA) as saying that the 2001 export value was already lower than that of China, an indication that China has overtaken Taiwan in terms of bicycle export value. According to the news report, most Taiwan bicycle makers have relocated to China and Vietnam, leaving Tachia -- a stronghold of more than 1,000 bicycle manufactures in central Taichung in the glory days -- in the cold. The remaining factories have also been forced to largely cut production and use China-made components. A Taiwan-funded bicycle factory based in Chungshan, in China's Guangdong Province, said it made more than 7.2 million bicycles last year, a number that exceeds Tai-wan's total production. A spokesman said the company owns eight plants in the mainland and that orders are pouring in. TBEA statistics show that Taiwan companies produced a total of 23 million bicycles in China last year.

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