TAIPEI, Taiwan ¨C The world's biggest bike maker seems not to be hampered by the economic slowdown at all. The company's facilities in Taiwan and China are still running at full capacity during the first quarter of the year. However, for the second quarter a production slow down is forecasted. But, as Giant spokesman Jeffrey Sheu stipulates, this is only because of model transitions.
Despite Giant's positive announcement there are also signals from parts suppliers stating that stocks at various bike makers in Asia are piling up and that ordering for production later in the year is either being done very cautiously or being postponed.
Next to Giant also the number two bike maker in Taiwan, Merida, is still running at full capacity. Merida's assistant vice president Wang Long-Jin claimed that "they are postponing shipments of about 80,000 bicycles into the first quarter of 2009 due to lack of capacity."
Giant and Merida wrote revenue records in 2008 despite the financial fall out that started last September. Merida recently announced its December operation results, the revenues, the average selling prices and shipment volume hit record monthly highs. Merida had consolidated revenue of € 265 million (US$ 370.9m) in 2008, up 21.6% from previous year and a record high in the company's 36-year history.
Giant's December revenue also hit the fourth highest monthly high, while the company's Taiwanese plant did very well in 2008. The revenue grew by 50.3%, while the corporate consolidated revenue saw a 25.18% growth.