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Robert B. Margevicius, vice president of major bicycle manufacturer Specialized, has a lot to share about Taiwan's bike industry.
What is it that attracts the long-term attention of Specialized, the world's pre-eminent bicycle brand, to Taiwan’s bikes? What role does our bike industry play in the global supply chain? To find out, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) secured an exclusive interview with a major player in the bicycle industry: Vice president of US brand Specialized, Robert (Bob) B. Margevicius, who concurrently serves as vice-chairman of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA). TAITRA was lucky enough to be able to get a sense of what the present and future hold for Taiwan's bicycle industry, through the eyes of one of this industry’s heavy hitters.
Specialized is the world's largest high-end bicycle brand and, dating back to 1980, they've had ongoing cooperation with Merida, Giant and other Taiwanese manufacturers. When asked, Bob stated that the key to their long collaboration has been the unique competitive advantages of Taiwan's bike industry: robust industry hubs, an expert understanding of critical components and a supply chain that allows large-scale manufacturing and superb efficiency. As a result, Taiwan is able to produce the most advanced products and deliver them quickly, while also providing competitive pricing - the perfect combination.
However, there has been a radical shift in the market of late as the bicycle industry is moving towards e-bikes. The industry faces new challenges and will need to quickly and correctly choose how it responds to these changes, if it's going to break free of the crowd and reinvent itself. From revolutions in drive systems, to battery technologies, to wireless connectivity - opportunities abound. Thanks to Taiwan's strong ICT supply chain presence, Bob considers Taiwan's industry to be facing these changes head-on. Taiwan's robust bicycle supply chain and world-leading R&D technology have created an unbeatable combination that can capably handle the world's growing demand for electric bikes.
Bob lavished praise on how Taiwan's innovative R&D capacity is influencing the highly competitive bicycle industry. Many of Taiwan's exceptional businesses occupy important roles in the international high-end market, including several frequent Taiwan Excellence champions: Giant, Merida and KMC, the three big names in the bike industry; and businesses such as wheelset specialist Formula Engineering. These prestigious brands are second to none globally in their expertise. Despite this level of excellence, Bob noted that the greatest challenge Taiwan faces is the possibility of being marginalized in the future. National production capacity is ramping up in places such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Europe. If Taiwan does not fully capitalize on the advantages presented by free trade agreements, it will present a major problem moving forward.
Faced with an intensely competitive international market, TAITRA stands shoulder to shoulder with our businesses, ready to face down challenges and show our strength together! For information on Taiwan Excellence, please see the website at: https://www.taiwanexcellence.org/en
Liaison supervisor for this project:
Chun-Tse Wu, Director, Strategic Marketing Department, External Trade Development Council