Innovation Leading the Industry
3C Technology Equips Taiwan Sporting Goods with Global Competitiveness
The development of Taiwan sporting goods industry can be traced back 3 decades. Hard work and unending devotion to new designs by its manufacturers and a strong foundation in peripheral industries have made Taiwan a worldwide production center of sporting goods. Within those products, fitness gear has the best sales and a great reputation and appreciation among international buyers. Products include high-quality fitness equipment, Golf gear and in-line skates. Recently, Taiwan manufacturers even introduced electromechanical technology into the production of excellent and fashionable fitness gear for higher value.
Moreover, they take great advantage of the prosperous hi-tech industry in Taiwan, combing 3C technology with the development of superior sporting goods of higher quality and making superior advances over similar products made in China and the countries in Southeast Asia. As such, Taiwan has become a more threatening competitor in the worldwide sporting goods markets.
Taiwan sporting goods manufacturing has played an importantrole in the international markets for decades. With the firm industry basis, development with technology, excellent quality,and innovative design, Taiwan is now the source of sportinggoods in Asia. According to the statistics by Taiwan Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (TSMA), sporting goods imports in 2006 have reached 284.8 million USD and exports have reached 1.424 billion USD mainly to Japan, Europe and the United States. Exported products include Golf gear, fitness equipment and outdoor gear, which have gained a stellar reputation all over the world.
The rise of recreational sports industry and greater public awareness of healthy lifestyle and exercise in recent years have rapidly increasing demands for sporting goods thereby contributing to the development of sporting goods industry in Taiwan. Government cooperation provides further impetus for manufacturers to strive for a betterand more innovative product line. This has definitively helped create the image of a country that produces high-quality sporting goods and further has promoted global competitive superiority.
Taiwan’s Bicycle Export Value Remains World Champion
As a typical export-oriented industry, over ninety percent of bicycles made in Taiwan are for export while less than ten percent are for inbound sales. In the years previous to 2000, exports have ranged from 7.9 to 10 million bicycles annually valued at 667 million to 909 million USD(US$1=NTD33). The 2006 export volume was 4.65 million bikes valued at 890.9 million USD, mainly to Europe, America, and Japan.
During the overseas industrial shift, manufacturers realized the only way to stay competitive was to implement a strategic change requiring product development, increased variety, and market segmentation to enhance international competitiveness.
Arising from this transformation was the “Three Ns” strategy slogan: New Material, New Function, and New Application. After tireless hard work and development, mountain bikes, cross-country bikes, and motorbikes with high added value were produced. This became a journey in innovative business opportunities enabling Taiwan to be the leading country in bicycles exports.
As a whole, bicycle exports take up a growing share with 70% of the total in Taiwan bicycle industry and the components take the other 30 %. Taiwan bicycles exports in 2006 were 4.65 million with the best value of 9 million USD, and the average price has rose up from 199 USD in 2005 to 206 USD. All the numbers indicate that the bicycle industry in Taiwan has broken through the once-fashionable OEM system toward the development of high added-values and innovative functions.
Taiwan bicycle manufacturers have been strict with the product quality and innovation design, and have directed their main business goal to the production of high priced bicycles for export into the western areas. In fact, comparing to the others, Taiwan bicycles are of better quality but lower prices for export into the EU.
Looking into the future, Taiwan bicycle manufacturers all agree that with the nation's superior industry chain, the high price of fuel, and growing demands for environment protection worldwide are all factors contributing to increased bicycle exports, as well as industrial development, are highly likely.
（From TAITRA 「Taiwan Products」Volume37, No.6, 2007.12.01）