After more than 30 years of developing in Taiwan, the SRAM Group is now investing a huge sum on the order of NT$10 billion in a new plant in Taichung's Tanzi District, and this plant will integrate all of its existing production facilities in the area. Accompanied by Hank Kao, SRAM's former general manager for Asia, Vice President of Global Manufacturing Jeffrey Winterkorn brought SRAM Director of Manufacturing for Asia Joao Pires and SRAM Asia General Manager Bob Chen on a visit to Taichung City Government on February 3.
According to Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen, Taichung's stable climate and highly-educated population make it ideal for corporate operations. In addition, three of the SRAM Group's current business locations are in the city's Shengang District, which is close to the Tanzi District, and most employees are local people. If the SRAM Group is willing, the city recommends that it establish a YouBike station near their new plant, which will encourage employees to use bikes and public transportation, conserve energy, and reduce carbon emissions. The first 30 minutes of bicycle use via Taichung's YouBike bike rental system is free, thanks to a city subsidy, and there are currently over 1,200 YouBike stations. New YouBike stations are preferentially established at major transit points and other places where crowds may gather. The Mayor further suggested that SRAM contact the Taichung City Labor Department if they have a recruiting plan.
According to Jeffrey Winterkorn, SRAM's vice president of global manufacturing, the Group's manufacturing facilities in the Taichung area will be consolidated in the Tanzi plant, and a new R&D center will be established. SRAM Asia General Manager Bob Chen noted that SRAM is the world's second largest bicycle parts vendor, and currently has four facilities in Taichung City; these consist of its Taiwan subsidiary's headquarters (Shengang District), its development center for Asia (Xitun District), and its Fengzhou 1 and Fengzhou 2 plants (Fengzhou Industrial Park). Thanks to the Group's great confidence in the Taichung investment environment, including its geographical conditions, mature up- and downstream supply chains, and skilled human resources, it is investing the massive sum of around NT$10 billion in its new Tanzi plant. Hank Kao, SRAM's former general manager for Asia, added that SRAM currently employs 4,065 persons in Taichung, and the integration of its production facilities in the new plant shows SRAM's decision to remain rooted in Taiwan and employ local people.
According to Mr. Chang Feng-yuan, head of the Taichung City Department of Economic Development, due to the pandemic and global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Taiwan's bicycle industry achieved new output and revenue records during the last few years. SRAM now has business locations throughout 16 countries, and the new Tanzi plant will integrate all of the group's production processes in Taiwan. It will further consolidate Taiwan's bicycle parts supply chain, and is expected to stimulate relevant employment, foster the development of up- and downstream industry chains, and boost the bicycle industry's competitiveness.
From the left: Hank Kao, former SRAM general manager for Asia, current SRAM General Manager for Asia Bob Chen, SRAM Director of Manufacturing for Asia Joao Pires, SRAM Vice President of Global Manufacturing Jeffrey Winterkorn, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen, Director-general Huang Chong-dian, Taichung Dept. of Economic Development Director Chang Feng-yuan, and IBIDC director Huang Yu-shan.
SRAM Vice President Jeffrey Winterkorn (left) and Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen have a good chat.