Giant to set up third bicycle plant in mainland China

Dec 30, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Powersports Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 30, 2003 (CENS)--Taiwan's leading bicycle maker Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Recently announced plans to invest US$12 million to set up a bike plant in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, mainland China.

Giant claimed that the annual capacity at the scheduled plant, the third one set up by the firm in mainland China, would be set at 400,000 bicycles, all to be sold in the mainland market. The company said its board has okayed the investment project and it is applying to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) for final approval.

Giant said that the new mainland plant would be constructed immediately after the firm gets permission from MOEA and would begin mass production in the second half of 2004. With the added capacity from the new mainland facility, Giant expects to turn out about five million bicycles from plants worldwide next year, compared with about 4.7 million units this year.

In a bid to record more sales in the lucrative mainland China market, Giant disclosed its intention to set up a new plant in Sichuan to more actively tap the domestic market there at a shareholder meeting early this year, and made the final decision after six months of s evaluation. Mainland China is currently the world's largest bicycle market as such two-wheeler vehicles are still the major transportation equipment for the 1.3 billion population there. The annual market demand there is about 25 million units.

Giant said that the planned Chengdu plant will be the company's third bike production facility across the Taiwan Strait. The new plant would be located in the Chengdu Economic & Technological Development Zone and the output produced will be supplied mainly to the western China, a region with a population of about 300 million.

Giant, in fact, has developed its mainland production deployment for many years. The Taiwan company set up its first wholly-owned mainland facility in 1993 in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, and a joint venture in Shanghai (with Shanghai Phoenix Bicycle) later.

In the past years, Giant exported half of its bikes produced in mainland China and sold the rest half there. According to Giant, the new plant is part of the company's important strategies to develop business in the western China region, which will be the focus of China's next-stage economic development. In addition, Giant said, the Chengdu plant is also expected to help extend the sales region of the company's bike products into the second-level cities in western China from first-level coastal cities in eastern China.

Giant said that it currently has about 1,600 bike sales points in mainland China, including direct-run and franchised. After the complete construction of the Chengdu plant, the Taiwan bike maker said, the sales-point deployment would be further speeded up.
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