Dec. 11, 2012
-- The opening ceremony of TÜV Rheinland Antaean (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. was held in Kunshan, Suzhou on December 7, 2012. The laboratory was jointly established by TÜV Rheinland and Kunshan Entry-Exit Inspection and the Quarantine Bureau (CIQ) to provide bicycle manufacturers with one-stop third-party testing and inspection services that cover bicycles, electric bicycles, components and parts. This is TÜV Rheinland’s first bicycle testing facility in the Greater China region and the laboratory will leverage TÜV’s professional team and service network to help manufacturers explore the global market. Guests at the ceremony were able to witness the group’s considerable growth and achievements in this particular field.
"Cooperation between TÜV Rheinland and CIQ enables mutual exchange which has distinct advantages with respect to local resources and powerful technology. We are world-leading technology service providers with unparalleled experience in terms of testing and certification, and we have diversified structure and a global service network,” said Mr. Holger Kunz, general manager of TÜV Rheinland Antaean (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. in an address at the opening ceremony. He went on to say, "the establishment of this world-leading laboratory will help more bicycle and electric bicycle manufacturers to obtain GS and TÜV marks, LGA Test and LGA Test Quality certificates and assist them to export products to the North American, European and Asia-Pacific markets." It was also reported that as CIQ cannot apply for CPSC certification at the present time, the U.S. market will be the primary target of the cooperation between the parties in the next step.
Cycling has recently become a mainstream mode of urban transportation in developed countries. The many positive reasons why people choose to use their bicycles include the fact that they are environmentally friendly, inexpensive, fast, fun and healthy. Focusing attention on the first reason, urban planners have increasingly paid attention to bicycles as an environmentally sustainable substitute to other means of transport since they do not cause pollution, traffic problems or noise while reducing the consumption of resources. The resurgence of collective bicycle sharing points, the creation of bike lanes, congestion tax and cycling education in the main capitals is witness to this effort to encourage cycling in preference to motoring.
According to data from Euromonitor, China is tops in bicycle production. In 2011, Chinese production value exceeded US$28.4 billion and growth was estimated at 13% year-on-year. Production was 4.4 times that of the runner-up, Indonesia. China's export growth has remained in double digits for the last five years except for a short period after the 2009 financial turmoil. The Asia Pacific region and North America were the main destinations for Chinese bicycles, accounting for nearly 40% and 31% of China's US$3 billion worth of exports. The Asia Pacific region is considered the prime high-growth market, with growth ranging from 16 - 51% in 2011. The Yangtze River Delta Region and Tianjin area are the major bicycle production hubs which account for over 80% of China's bicycle export. In terms of purchasing, the US has been the largest single country importer for the last 10 years and accounts for over 30% of China's export except in 2011. In 2011, US imported over US$828 million worth of bicycles from China.
In terms of bicycle ownership, Asia Pacific and Western Europe topped the list at 63%. In some countries/regions, ownership was above 80%. For the Greater China region, bicycle ownership of mainland families declined slightly in general, but there was an increase from under 60% to nearly 70% in the better developed regions, such as Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai over the last six years. Similarly, bicycle ownership in Taiwan grew 5% to 86.6% in 2011 and was the highest in the Asia Pacific region.
Overall, the combination of initiatives to promote cycling along with changes in lifestyle has created a trend towards increased bicycle purchases. However, in order to continue the promotion of cycling for work and leisure, manufacturers must play their role and ensure the high quality of bicycles. "The high quality bicycle test takes numerous things into account, including product safety, functionality, durability, handling, workmanship and corrosion," said Benson Guo, a senior TÜV Rheinland expert. "We are not only concerned with mechanical safety in bicycles, but also the chemical safety of the plastic and metal components that come into contact with the rider's skin. We have regular factory audits to ensure that manufacturing production processes meet the highest technical and CSR standards for the buyers. Our TÜV Rheinland GS Mark is only granted for products that meet every one of the many requirements."
It has been reported that the new laboratory can provide testing services for every kind of bicycle: city bikes, traveler bikes, exercise bikes, mountain bikes, racing bikes, tandem bikes and fly bikes.