Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

BMW Rider Pfeiffer Stunts KYMCO Super 9

March 23, 2009

Multi-time World Stunt Champion Chris Pfeiffer recently performed atop a KYMCO scooter during an exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Pfeiffer is under contract with the BMW Group, so his performance on a KYMCO, at the request of a German KYMCO dealer, had to be approved by the German OEM.

Pfeiffer chose the KYMCO Super 9 LC for the 10-minute show, which included wheelies, stoppies and a host of other high level stunts.

Taiwan’s KYMCO (Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd.) produces the engine for BMW’s G 450 X enduro – which Pfeiffer traditionally stunts along with an F 800 R.

Taiwan Firms Aim for U.S.

February 15, 2009

I was asked to speak at the Taiwan Powersports Symposium during the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis.

The event included journalists and manufacturers focused on giving an insight about Taiwan’s powersports industry and how it may impact business here in the U.S. The comments below are my own, offered during the presentation.

“While it’s unlikely any of us were in the motorcycle industry during the early 1960s, I think it’s pretty well known how the first of the Japan-made two-wheelers to enter the U.S. back then were greeted by consumers and retailers who had, up to that point, only known U.S. and European brands.

Although the things said about those early Japanese bikes weren’t too flattering, the Big Four from Japan nevertheless grew to become the major players in the U.S. motorcycle market.

Well, nowadays, I hear some people speak dubiously about machines coming from other areas of the Far East. The thing is, I find most of the (more…)

Talking Taiwan at Dealer Expo

January 14, 2009

I’ve been invited to speak at the Taiwan Image Seminar taking place at the Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo in Indianapolis next month.

I’ll be joined by a couple of fellow journalists and representatives from Taiwan’s major powersports vehicle manufacturers. We’ll be sharing our opinions regarding Taiwan’s powersports companies and products.

ATV testing in Kaohsiung

Guido Ebert testing ATVs in Kaohsiung

My first experience with Taiwan-made two-wheelers occurred in the mid 90s, when I rented a KYMCO scooter during a trip to Greece. A couple of years later, remembering the pleasant experience I had on that scoot, I rented another KYMCO scooter while in Mexico, and had an equally enjoyable experience – even with my wife on the back.

Since then, I’ve been on four trips to Taiwan, visiting manufacturing facilities and riding two and four-wheel product. The facilities I’ve seen there matched, and even surpassed, some of the R&D and manufacturing facilities I’ve toured in Europe and the U.S.

Industry folk often ask me what I’ve experienced during my time in Taiwan, about the market, the companies, and the product. Here are the seven statements I tend to include in my reply:

1) Taiwan is NOT China.
2) Whereas China has proven itself to be a prolific vehicle manufacturer, Taiwan – like Japan – proves proficient at developing AND manufacturing vehicles.
3) Taiwanese manufacturers are to Japanese manufacturers as Japanese manufacturers were to Harley-Davidson.
4) Most people who’ve had a chance to inspect, ride or sell Taiwan-made vehicles know the quality of such product tends to be on par with units built in Japan and higher than many of the units imported so far from China.
5) Multiple North American and Japanese OEMs source quads and scooters from Taiwanese manufacturers.
6) While many “New Asian” suppliers entering the U.S. market often attempt to scrape together as many sales as possible as quickly as possible by moving product through multiple distributors, Taiwan-based vehicle suppliers appear to have a more long-term approach, choosing a single U.S. based importer/distributor through which they can more easily manage their business and plan for the future.
7) Remember where Kia and Hyundai were in the U.S. auto market 10 years ago? Check out their statistics now. Expect the same from the New Asians in the powersports industry.