While one <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />US bicycle maker (Pacific Cycle) was snatched up by a Canadian conglomerate (Dorel Industries) and another sought bankruptcy protection (Huffy) in 2004, Taiwan’s leading bike manufacturers are coming off a record year.
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China Economic News Service reports that Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd., the nation’s largest bike maker, built 5.6 million bicycles last year, gaining $663 million in revenue. No. 2 bicycle manufacturer, Merida Industry Co. Ltd., reports $162 million in revenue.
You might remember that Schwinn turned to Giant when it wanted to make bicycles overseas, but, in the words of the Washington Post, got “burned badly” when Giant started “applying Schwinn technology and techniques to their own, cheaper lines.” Merida is the company that bought a stake in Specialized Bicycle Components from founder Mike Sinyard in 2001.
What do the two companies have in common? In addition to being based in Taiwan and having a big impact on US bicycle market, they both have manufacturing operations to Mainland China.