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Traditional Taiwanese Scooter Industry Facing Transformation Crisis

By Korbin Lan
Published: Apr 16,2018

Figure one
Figure one

The overall electronic designs for electric vehicles and e-scooters are relatively simple, and the costs and retail prices are relatively accessible for ordinary people. Consequently, as long as the production technology is mature, the market will transform within a short period of time, and a situation will emerge which is just like how in the past in the mobile phone market when the iPhone came out and Nokia and Motorola fell by the wayside and within a short time, the traditional major mobile phone manufacturers were confined to the pages of history.

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Electronic vehicles are experiencing fiery growth, which can be observed from the latest sales figures. Taiwanese electric vehicle manufacturer Gogoro Taiwan Limited recently announced that the total number of registered license plates for Gogoro brand electric vehicles in March reached 5,120. This is a record for the second highest number in history, and at the same time, they reached a 6.34% market share for all of Taiwan during the same month and sustained their position as market leader with a market share of over 90% for e-scooters.

What is the significance of a total market share of 6.34%? Simply stated, Gogoro has joined the ranks of the top five companies in the Taiwanese market during a period of only three years, which is an unprecedented accomplishment in the scooter market. Ordinarily new companies entering the market have difficulty reaching a 2% market share within a period of five years of operations. For instance, Aeon Motor has already been established for nearly 10 years, yet has still not been able to reach a 2% market share.

From the perspective of industry development, if it continues to follow this trend and the traditional scooter industry and retail shops do not undergo this transformation, there are fears that they will be left with no other choice than to shut their doors for business. Furthermore, in contrast to the bright prospects of newly emerging electronic vehicle companies and stores with neat and casual images, the prospects for nearly all traditional scooter businesses will be dim and precarious.

In addition, it is not only store employees who should consider their next direction. Traditional scooter companies also have the challenge of considering how to continue to develop their business models as they are faced with the world of smart technology and big data as well as transformations related to new resources. If they do not begin to make dramatic adjustments, there is a significant danger that they will be faced with even more severe market challenges in the future.

(TR/ Phil Sweeney)

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