This week: SCOTT Sports opens first Technology Centre in Bangalore, considers local assembly; India’s bicycle manufacturers concerned with imports of Chinese-made bicycles; Shimano announces disappointing FY2016 Q1 results; 2016 China Cycle show underway Friday; Australian 3D-printed bike manufacturer Bastion Cycles launches online bike design tool.Market Talk is a collection of market intelligence from across the Asia-Pacific selected to educate and inform anyone interested in understanding the APAC bicycle industry, its key players and the business behind the machines.
SCOTT SPORTS OPENS FIRST TECHNOLOGY CENTRE, CONSIDERS LOCAL ASSEMBLY
Swiss-headquartered SCOTT Sports SA opened its first ‘Technology Centre’ last month in Bangalore, and the Hindu BusinessLine reports a further five are planned to open within the next 12 months.
SCOTT CEO Beat Zaugg attended the opening ceremony of the 140 square metre store, which features a full range of inline and Special Make Up (SMU) bikes and accessories, a German-made Radlabor fit system, and full service centre staffed by United Bicycle Institute graduates.
Speaking with BusinessLine, Zaugg said SCOTT Sports India, a subsidiary of SCOTT Sports SA, planned “to open five such (stores) over the next 12 months”, evidently through franchise agreements with existing retail outlets. SCOTT Sports India currently sells its products to 60 independent bicycle retailers across the country and also launched an online Owner’s Club for its customers in 2014.
Zaugg stated his company, which to date has invested USD2m into its India operations, is considering the option to open a bicycle assembly line in India “in the next two years” adding, “we are looking to produce not just for India but also for the international market.”
INDIA’S BICYCLE MANUFACTURERS CONCERNED WITH CAMBODIA IMPORTS
Staying in India, some local bicycle manufacturers are reportedly voicing their concerns about increased trans-shipping of Chinese-made bicycles through Cambodia to avoid the higher import duties usually imposed.
“Just to escape the import duty, Chinese goods are coming through different routes and now the latest to add in the league after Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bangladesh is Cambodia. The policies which were formed for the development of developing and under-developed countries were being exploited and it should be checked by the government,” The Tribune quotes Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations as saying
SHIMANO REPORTS FY2016 Q1 RESULTS
Bicycle components manufacturer Shimano Inc. (7309:TYO) last week announced disappointing financial results for the first quarter of 2016, citing sluggish global economies and appreciation of the Yen as the main reasons behind a large YoY decrease in quarterly net sales for its bicycle division.
Shimano’s bicycle components business segment recorded FY2016 Q1 net sales of JPY65.2bn (USD611m), compared to JPY81.9bn (USD767.8m) for the same period the previous year. It is the second consecutive quarter for which the Osaka-based manufacturer of bicycle components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment has recorded a decrease in net sales.
In its latest report, Shimano described retail sales in Europe and North America as “buoyant” thanks to agreeable winter conditions, further noting that inventories of bicycles held by European distributors were at “appropriate” levels – a contrast to the “relatively high” inventory levels in North America.
Demand for high-end bicycles in China – a growth market for Shimano in recent years – has tempered, with a softening in consumer appetite for premium bikes leading to elevated inventory levels in that market. Southeast Asia meanwhile, remains “robust” while demand for sports bicycles in Japan continues to be flat.
As a result, Shimano’s operating income for this segment decreased 34.4% to JPY14.4bn (USD135.5m).
2016 CHINA CYCLE EXHIBITION OPENS DOORS THIS WEEK
The 26th China International Bicycle Fair (China Cycle 2016) will open this Friday at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai.
Organised by the domestic bicycle industry’s peak body, China Bicycle Association (CBA), the four-day event reportedly attracted 1’315 exhibitors from 27 countries in 2015 and is anticipating an almost 10% increase in booths compared to last year. CBA recorded 158’000 visitors in 2015, with 11% of those visiting from countries outside of Asia.
Like Eurobike (Germany) and Cycle Mode (Japan), visitors to China Cycle are largely from the bicycle industry, though the general public can also attend on the final day (09 May). Attendees can expect to see some MY2017 products from local brands such as XDS and UCC, while test rides will take place outdoors.
Global brands such as Giant and Merida tend not to use this exhibition in May to display new model year products, preferring instead to hold their own private shows in June or July.
BASTION CYCLES LAUNCHES ONLINE BIKE DESIGN TOOL
3D-printed bicycle frame manufacturer Bastion Cycles has unveiled the online bike design tool which it says has been in development for more than one year.
The Melbourne-based start-up, which attracted much attention at NAHBS earlier this year, uses a combination of 3D-printed titanium lugs and spun composite tubes to build its unique-looking disc brake-ready road bike frames.
Potential customers can use the online tool to fine-tune the frame’s characteristics and build-kit, with price and weight updating in real time.