Taiwan e-bike exports up in turbulent 2020

The Taiwanese bicycle industry is set to prosper in 2021. Record-low inventory at distributors, new lifestyle trends and continued growth momentum in the e-bike sector during the post-COVID-19 pandemic period will drive market growth forward, industry experts say. According to Taiwan’s customs data, e-bike exports hiked in 2020 by almost 20% to more than 759,000 units.

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In the global turmoil over Covid-19, Taiwan was saved from the big impact of the pandemic all other countries experienced. However, the e-bike and bicycle industry were still confronted with the market disruption as orders were cancelled at the start of the pandemic and supplies were delayed. 2020 started in a very positive mood. The order intake was very good following rising sales in 2019.

MR Taiwan from 1-2021 - table 1

The decision to cancel the Taipei Cycle Show 2020 was not taken easy. It was in fact one of the first international trade shows that was hit so badly by Corona, but many more would follow suit. In the beginning, postponing events was still seen as a solution, awaiting better times. But these didn’t come as quickly as expected and Taiwan’s industry had to wait to showcase itself to the international industry.  


At the start of the year, exports accelerated quickly with year-on-year monthly growth percentages reaching 75% and more in January and February. The impact of the pandemic which started late February, early March in Europe was inevitable and reflected in the export statistics. In response to the lockdown including the closure of IBDs, orders were cancelled in panic. Soon, it was clear that demand for bicycles and e-bikes started to rise considerably as it was regarded as the safest means of transport in urban areas and people started to cycle for exercise and fun.

MR Taiwan from 1-2021 - table 2

In April, export volume declined by 21% from 58,623 units in 2019 to 46,035 this year. In the second and early third quarter the situation remained unstable with fluctuating export volumes. Already in August the export market came back on track with a year-on-year increase in export of 31% to 54,757 units. In retrospect, the e-bike export market situation in 2020 was very unstable but still expanding.  


The growth percentages last year were incomparable with previous years when e-bike exports exploded. In 2019 the export volume increase by 125% year-on-year. At that time it was reason enough for Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA) chairman Michael Tseng to state that “the transformation of the Taiwanese industry from producing traditional bicycles and the appropriate components to e-bikes was in full swing. Traditional bicycles are becoming e-bikes and that requires an all new approach to production, distribution and marketing. The Taiwan industry is now fully focused on e-bike engineering as we continue to strive our best to cover the needs of the global market.”

Interview TBA Secretary General

MR Taiwan from 1-2021

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