Taiwan’s Merida purchases shares of top U.S. bike manufacturer

Karen Huang, The China Post

Merida Industry Co, a Taiwan-based bicycle manufacturer, yesterday announced it had purchased shares in Specialized Bicycles, a leading U.S. manufacturer of mountain bikes, gaining two seats on the company’s board of directors.

Merida said the purpose of this move is to expand its sales netwotk in the U.S. Specialized presently takes up 17 percent of the U.S. bike market in terms of sales value or 14 percent market share in sales volume.

The U.S. has become a major outlet for Taiwan-made bicycles in recent years.

Over the past few years, the bicycle industry has been categorized as traditional industry and local bicycle manufacturers have been developing multi-function bicycles.

Facing competition from mainland China and other countries, however, several domestic bicycle manufacturers saw their orders gradually shrink over the past year.

Since becoming Specialized’s OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partner ten years ago, Merida planned its investment in Specialized as a way to strengthen its operational system, including research and development, marketing, sales, and manufacturing in the U.S. Specialized Bicycles is the world’s first company to design and manufacture the mountain bike.