Cars Down, Bikes Up
While high oil prices and an economic recession are hitting carmakers hard, bicycle makers are selling more than ever. "Giant Manufacturing, the world’s largest bicycle-maker, sold a record 460,000 units last month and is heading for its best year ever."
Demand is so high in certain places that there are even shortages. For example, it happened it New York City earlier this year, and in Taiwan, people pay deposits before the bikes are even off the assembly line. Read on for more details on why bikes are so hot.Different Bikes for Different Markets
After a slow 2006, sales took off last year in Europe and America as fuel prices shot up. Suddenly a bicycle seems like the remedy for many modern ills, from petrol prices to pollution and obesity. Each market has its own idiosyncrasies. Europeans mainly use bikes for commuting, but have the odd habit of ignoring models made explicitly for that purpose in favour of sleeker, faster models which are then expensively modified. Americans prefer off-road BMX trail bikes. Taiwanese demand is led by racing-style bikes used for exercise.
If you look at Giant Manufacturing's stock market performance, you'll even see that on a year-to-date basis they are up about 5.65% right now, which the overall market is way down over the same period of time. No bad, and green in more ways than one.
Via The Economist
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