Monday, December 29, 2008

Its not all doom and gloom here in the bike industry

We've all been bombarded by the stories of economic turmoil and everyday the dow and nasdaq seem to loose another 5%. American unemployment is looking at 10% and every country is getting hit. My sympathies do go out to those who are out of work and are finding it hard to make ends meet. However on the bright side of things you can say that 90% of americans ARE employed and spending and those numbers are probably around the same for other bike buying countries as well.

For us, Banshee is coming off a growing 2008 and looking for continued growth in 2009, the bike industry seems to be chugging along quite nicely. Greg from Straitline was mentioning that one of his friends came back from LA and when the gas prices were through the roof there was a ton more people on bikes. Even in rainy Vancouver you can see alot more people pedalling around.
Sure Banshee isn't in the pavement market and has no intentions of going into this market but I'm sure some of those people will be crossing over and could eventually figure out how much fun it is to ride offroad. At the end of the day though we're all just cyclists and I hope that more people get out of their cars and off their couches, get a bike and be happier, healthier and more well adjusted.

Anyway as the year closes I just wanted to give you a little bit of goodnews.

Heres some annecdotes i picked up off the newswire.

Taiwan Companies Investing Heavily; China Offers Support

TAICHUNG, Taiwan – The Taiwanese bike industry is investing heavily in adding production capacity and/or upgrading its facilities.

During Bike Europe’s recent visits to the country which took place last October and December, numerous companies announced to work on new facilities or expanding existing ones. And they are helped by Taiwan’s former enemy; the People’s Republic of China.

Old hands in the bike industry surely remember flying into Taipei Airport (at that time still called Chiang Kai-shek) for the Taipei Int’l Cycle Show and being welcomed by anti-aircraft guns. This took place years ago when tension between the two countries reached red alert levels with the US sixth fleet rushing to the region.


Study: Americans Will Spend Less on Gear

BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Leisure Trends asked active Americans about their spending plans in the upcoming months. Close to 50 percent of active Americans plan to spend less on sports related gear, clothing and equipment, while only 1.6 percent plan to spend more. The rest (48.2 percent) plan to spend the same amount.
more here

Yeah it says less but there are still 49.8% that will spend the same or more... if that ain't the proverbial glass is half full/half empty thing then i don't know what is. The headline could have read "50% of Americans not likely to change their spending habits on Outdoor sports"