Bicycles coming back into fashion

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 14:56

A customer chooses a bicycle at a store in HCM City. The vehicles are becoming popular again around the country. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh

HCM CITY (VNS) — The bicycle market is hotter than ever with pedalling again becoming popular in the country.

Nguyen Huu Son, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Auto Motorcycle Bicycle Association, said consumers in Viet Nam tend to prefer vehicles that save energy.

In big cities like Ha Noi and HCM City, bicycling is attracting customers of all ages, pushing up sales of bicycles and electronic bicycles, he said, adding the market is thus promising for both domestic and foreign companies.

The return of Peugeot, the French bicycle giant, to Viet Nam after 20 years is a clear evidence of this trend.

Soon after it made its return late last week, its showrooms have been inundated and it has already sold around 150 bicycles.

Dang Quang Manh, chairman of Velo Chic, the company's sole distributor in Viet Nam, told Viet Nam News that "if sales reach the same level as previous days, we will have no bikes to sell,."

"Viet Nam is a very promising market," he said.

State-owned bicycle maker Thong Nhat is also enjoying a jump in sales.

Dang Van Cong, an employee of Thong Nhat, told Viet Nam News that "the company's sales growth is 20 per cent per year."

It is looking for agents to expand its market in HCM City and the rest of the south.

A revival of bicycling is attributed to environment pollution, traffic jams, and rising health consciousness.

"The trend is popular in many countries like France and the US," Manh said.

According to the association, around 80 per cent of bicycles sold in Viet Nam now are from Japan, mainland China, and Taiwan. Domestic companies such as Thong Nhat, Delta, and Hitasa account for just 8 per cent of the market.

To increase the latter's market share, the association wants the Government to give priority to bicycle manufacturing and encourage foreign companies to make them in the country.

Furthermore, it called for studying the experiences of cities around the world where many people use bikes.

Meanwhile, the 2013 China Cycle International Exhibition is being held in HCM City's Saigon Exhibitions and Convention Centre.

Around 30 Chinese and Vietnamese companies, including some famous names, are taking part and showcasing their popular products and parts and the latest technologies used in bicycles and electric bicycles.

The exhibition will go on until Saturday. — VNS

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