Some 140 to 150 Taiwanese companies, including many assembled-vehicle makers whose participation were processed by their European dealers, distributors or subsidiaries, took part in the INTERMOT Cologne 2010, a globally top-three trade show for motorcycles, scooters and bicycles held October 6-10 in Cologne, Germany.
The Taiwan booths displayed assembled vehicles, parts, accessories, and even new industrial standards, reflecting the rapid progress made by the island's powered two-wheeler (PTW) industry. Clearly the suppliers from Taiwan are no longer satisfied with being me-too players, instead are developing products for new market niches that generate higher profit margins to be better insulated from underselling competition
The following includes a cross-section of the Taiwanese suppliers at the German event, whose product lines are widely popular among global vehicle makers and end users as original equipment (OE) and aftermarket (AM) items.
Jerry Lee, Hwa Fong export manger, and many new Duro products.
Hwa Fong Rubber Ind. Co., Ltd., maker of Duro-branded tires, has been in the business for some 65 years, operating factories in Taiwan, China and Thailand and claiming globally leading market status based on ample know-how.
The maker unveiled at the show, for the European and American markets, various new tires for powered two-wheelers (PTWs), including off-road tires for motocross, slicks for motorcycles and scooters, soft-compound scooter tires etc.
Adopting effective strategies to build global competitiveness, the maker produces PTW and bicycle tires at its factory in Taiwan for mainly global AM sales, PTW tires in Thailand for the local, top-four Japanese PTW makers, and passenger-car tires in China for the local and world's largest automobile market.
All-in-one OLED Gauge
Acewell International Co., Ltd., a maker of motorcycle and bicycle gauges, showed items that proved it has been aggressively diversifying into high-end powersport gauges in recent years.
Acewell`s super-mini all-in-one OLED gauge with high visibility.
Acewell president George Lee said that his company has developed a very innovative all-in-one instrument cluster with speedometer, tachometer, turn signal, odometer, fuel gauge etc. Despite being very compact, the palm-sized cluster is highly visible due to adoption of the high-end organic light-emit diode (OLED) screen, enabling installation anywhere on motorcycle/scooter handlebars without compromising visibility, he said.
In addition, all the electronics fit inside the computerized numerical control (CNC) machined aluminum housing to render full weather-proofing, coupled with its four-wire-linked CAN-Bus that is compatible with complicated systems on big motorbikes.
Aroma Sports Ltd., an experienced helmet maker in Taiwan, showcased its latest 2011 products, the globally patented double-lens helmets.
Aroma Sports’ double-lens helmet.
Allen Chang, the sales manger, pointed out that the double-lens helmets feature a patented push button to easily deploy and retract sunglasses, which is superior to most manual double-lens helmets available. Also most of the company's helmets come with a patented lens-change quick-release, making changing lenses easy, quick and safe without tools.
All the maker's helmets are ECE-approved and available in such materials as ABS, fiberglass and full-carbon.
High-flow & Filtration
Jieh Jia Enerprise Co., Ltd. (Simota brand), a leading maker of performance filters for cars and motorcycles, showcased various high-end filters.
Jackson Chung, Jieh Jia`s sales manager, and his company`s products.
Jackson Chung, the sales manager, claimed that Simota adopts top-end test equipment to inspect and test both filters and vehicle performance running with such filters. Despite costing more than conventional rivals, Simota filters achieve the best balance between high flow (without hindering horsepower) and filtration (intake air cleaning).
Besides wide-ranging high-end air, fuel, and oil filters that effectively maximize horsepower and filtration, Chung said that his company's products are often designed to be re-useable and extra durable.
For example, the maker has an air filter for dirt bikes made of dual-density filtration material that is oil-washable and reusable, while its air filters can be cleaned with special solvent and can last for about 100,000 km.
EFI Fuel Pump
Shyang Huei Industrial Co., Ltd. (SunWorld brand), the largest manufacturer of PTW fuel and oil pumps as well as carburetors in Taiwan with annual shipments exceeding one million pumps/carburetors and trying to diversify into electronic fuel-injection (EFI), displayed its latest EFI fuel pumps and throttle bodies for scooter engines, suggesting the firm will soon develop entire EFI systems.
Shyang Huei`s officials introduce the company`s latest EFI fuel pump.
Jakey Chen, the marketing manager, pointed out that SunWorld has been closely cooperating with engine management system (EMS) developers, trying to foster home-grown EFI/EMS technologies.
Chen said that his company has the capacity to develop and make high-precision fuel and oil pumps as well as throttle bodies for EFI systems. If Taiwan can self-develop and make EFI systems, key technologies of which are monopolized by a few big international companies, Taiwan-made PTWs will be more cost competitive, he added.
Rolling Tech International Co., Ltd. supplies a wide variety of wheels, with or without tires, in steel, aluminium etc., with "tire-and-wheel solutions," according to the president Johnsun Chiang, indicative of his company's unmatched integration ability.
Johnsun Chiang (second from left) introduces his company`s wheel solutions to global buyers.
At the show, Rolling Tech displayed all types and sizes of wheels for scooters, all terrain vehicles (ATV), UTVs (utility vehicle, or side-by-side in North America), golf carts, go-carts, and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) etc. Supplying over 100 models (5- to 28-inch) of wheels, this maker has become a major OEM to many international vehicle makers in Europe and the U.S.
Rolling Tech's core competitiveness, according to Chiang, lies in its integration capability—the firm can ship wheel-and-tire sets (tire brand is optional) from Taiwan or China, where the company partners closely with many major tire makers to enable rapid tire-to-wheel mounting for global shipment.
"Our product range is almost as comprehensive as the world-famous players such as ITP Tires, the globally-leading ATV aftermarket tire and wheel source, and Douglas Wheel, a major wheel supplier, but we offer more flexible, faster, and personalized services,” said Chiang.
Since its establishment in 1994, Mount-Channel Mfg. Co., Ltd., a maker of friction-material products such as clutch pads, brake pads and shoes etc., has been aggressively trying to grow into a major global player.
Bright Lee, chairman of Mount-Channel.
The firm has become a sizable company with three factories in Taiwan and China, including one with monthly capacity of two million clutch and brake pads in Taiwan, and two in China (Zhejiang Province and Sichuan Province with capacity of three million sets of clutch pads and continuous variable transmission (CVT) assemblies).
After intensive investments in R&D, Mount-Channel several years ago became the first local developer and maker of scooter CVT systems in China, and began supplying such key part to many major PTW makers in China with average annual shipment of three million sets.
Not complacent and after years of dedication, Mount-Channel has successfully developed a series of CVT systems for engines up to 2,200cc, including a passenger car in China. The company chairman Lee said the goal for Mount-Channel is to become a major automotive CVT supplier.
Turbo Bike Home
The Turbo Bike Home developed by the Sportsman Corp. was one of the most innovative accessories at the show, with the sturdy, lightweight motorcycle cover/tent featuring a unique tilt and being able to be set up in a few minutes.
Despite being a seasoned and innovative tent maker in Taiwan, Sportsman began tapping the motorcycle tent/cover market to evade underselling in the camper tent market amid rivals in China.
Made of radial-frame structure designed for quick and hassle-free set-up and super water-repellent Ripstop poly-cotton weighing only 230 grams per square meter, the Turbo Bike Home is adjustable and provides a well-ventilated shelter from dust and moisture, with the TBH-270 (270cm x 120cm) and the TBH-370 (370cm x 200cm) models available and able to house nearly every motorcycle, scooter, and ATV on the road.
Sportsman has also developed a larger tent/cover with remote-control functions, enabling automatic retraction and extension with only a push of a button.
(by Quincy Liang)