Coronavirus Pandemic：Leading bicycle manufacturer suffers losses whilealso seeing positive growth.
From foreign trade tomanufacturing, industries across the globe are being hit hard by the COVID-19pandemic. This also include niche markets like bicycle manufacturing. CGTN'sOmar Khan caught up with one American industry leader to hear how they'veweathered the storm.
Here at this folding-bike factoryin southern China's Guangdong Province, assembly line staff are back to work.The factory belongs to Dahon, a global leader in folding-bike technology,headquartered in California. And much like many other factories and warehouses,the past three months have been difficult, though a recent recovery has broughtback a sense of stability.
TU ZHENGHUAI Production DeputyDirector, Dahon "Overall since work resumed and up until now, ourworkforce has been quite stable. The local and district committees carry outregular checks, and we also maintain strict requirements on preventioncontrols. It hasn't really affected our foreign and domestic orders, it hasn'thad a big impact on us."
With nearly 40 years ofexperience, and having become the world's top designer and producer of foldablebikes, Dahon has built up a sustainable business. But in the times of apandemic, it seems that no industry would be completely spared from theeconomic impacts.
DAVID TAK WEI HON Group CEO, Dahon"Well, almost all of China was locked down. So that includes oursuppliers, and ourselves. Nothing can be done, for more than 2 months, almostthree months. The factory beginning with half the staff, and then increasingnow to maybe 80 percent of the staff. So we are getting back to normal probablyby the end of next month."
And on the financial side ofthings, the pains were felt as well, with the company suffering sizeablelosses.
DAVID TAK WEI HON Group CEO, Dahon"I think we suffered, between everything, maybe ten, fifteen million RMB."
But even despite operational andfinancial obstacles, Dahon has seen an overwhelmingly positive rebound. It'sperhaps a credit to their ability to set industry standards and develop cuttingedge technology.
DAVID TAK WEI HON Group CEO, Dahon"Our business has picked up a lot in the month of March. So, especially inonline sales. More than 50 percent. Offline we are still higher than last yearsame period."
Maintaining a positive yetrealistic outlook is something Hon says he'll keep doing. And, there's a lot tolook forward to. In recent years the company has developed partnership programsthat have enabled other manufacturers to co-brand, share patented technologyand work in tandem. But before all of that gets back on track, getting throughthe current situation remains the top priority.
Omar Khan, CGTN, Shenzhen.