Taiwan in turmoil

Meltdown is probably too dramatic a word for the current trading situation of bike manufacturers in Taiwan but the industry is certainly suffering. An insider talks...
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Yoan, the Taiwanese frame building company with a very active paint-shop, has been declared bankrupt. [See below for company profile]

Some other companies well-known to European and US bike sourcers are also close to collapse. Many of those managing to hold their own are doing so by 'downsizing'.

A bike sourcer based in the UK, but who flies out to Taiwan regularly, is worried about the state of the Taiwanese bike industry:

"There are a whole number of casualties expected very soon. [Many] are blaming US and European customers for continually driving prices down and not wanting to stay in Taiwan for the quality element of their products.

"Yet not more than 10 years ago, they did not give a toss about who they upset in getting business. Now the boot is on the other foot it seems like they want to throw the baby out of the pram."

YOAN

Yoan Iuan Ind. Co., Ltd. of Chingshui Town was founded in 1985 and had 50 employees. It produced frames for MTBs, trekking bikes, road bikes and BMX.

It was capable of producing frames made out of bog-standard hi-ten, as well as cro-mo, aluminium 7005, Fuji stout lite, Dedacciai tubing and Columbus tubing.

A pre-collapse company statement boasted:

"We have strict quality control and every year, Yoan has invested in equipment and facility to improve our quality and efficient. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction and on-time delivery is what we always do. Yoan is a big professional and warm family. We

treat our customers as our family members and looking for a long term relationship. We grow with our customer and share our success."

In 2000, a Yoan-developed full-suss downhill frame (YM777) was awarded 'champion frame' in an award scheme sponsored by Taiwan Bicycle Exporters' Association.

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