Bike expo ends on a vroom note
LUDHIANA: A large number of people visited the bike expo, which ended on Sunday evening. The bike industry was satisfied with the response.
A large number of traders from across the country visited the expo in the last three days. Most of the major cycle manufacturers launched their hi-tech models at the expo, and said the response from visitors was encouraging. Following the success at the expo, they are planning to target the international market of high- end cycles and compete with China.
“The way people have responded to the expo, specially to the high-end cycles is encouraging,” RD Sharma, chairman of Hi- Bird Cycles, said. “We have a huge domestic market for these cycles. There is a also a huge international market for these cycles, which we can hope to target if we improve our technology.”
According to Sharma, exports of cycle from India to European countries were quite low and there was a huge scope for increase.
“European countries had imposed 48% anti-dumping duty on China 10 years ago and now this duty has been extended by another five years,” Sharma said. “A part of the European cycle markets now rely on exports from Taiwan and Bangladesh.” “Countries like Bangladesh are importing from China and then exporting to European countries, making the cycles costlier,” Sharma said. “So, now we can target a huge international market. It all depends on how fast we can upgrade our technology.”
“A new customer base is emerging,” Rajesh Kapoor, director of SK Bikes, said. “This base consists of the middle class and higher class, who consider cycles as health equipment rather than means of conveyance. To cater to this new base, we must have government support.
Kapoor said the government should exempt excise duty and VAT refund should be made faster. “This refund could be used for modernisation,” he added.
Industry heads feel that a person who can afford a mobile phone of 7,000 to 10,000 can be persuaded to spend the same amount on cycles, without com- promising on quality.
“We have already decided the dates for next year’s expo which will start on February 22,” Gurpreet Singh Kular, the president of United Cycles And Parts Manufacturers Association said. “The number of stalls is expected to increase up to 300.”
We have a huge domestic market for high-end cycles.
There is a also a huge international market, which we can hope to target if we improve our technology
RD SHARMA chairman of Hi-bird Cycles
Children posing on bikes on the last day of Bicycle Expo in Ludhiana on Sunday.