The US company looks set to shift up to 300 000 folding bicycles in 2004. Rising gasoline prices is said to be one of the engines for the growth.

Dahon registers 67% uplift in bike sales in first six months of 2004

"We are seeing very substantial growth in the folding bicycle market," said company founder and current president, Dr. David Hon.

"In markets such as Japan and Taiwan, fully 1 out of every 10 bicycles sold is folding. And we expect to see this growth continue for the foreseeable future as consumers in Europe, the United States, and China begin to fully embrace the advantages of a portable bike. Increasing gasoline prices and governmental policies promoting alternative transport are giving our market segment a strong push."

Dahon recently added a second assembly factory in Shenzhen, China to complement its ISO 9001 certified main factory in Shenzhen China, and three other factories in Macau and Taiwan.

The company also tripled the size of its main China factory to add space for additional assembly lines and for a sub-

factory responsible for tube forming, tube butting, stamping, and machining.

Many processes that in the past had been out-sourced are now fulfilled at Dahon’s main China plant.

Dahon employs over 600 employees at its various offices and factories.

"As pleased as we are with the first half 2004 results, we’re even more optimistic about the second half

of the year and 2005," said Dr. Hon.

"As everybody knows, there were some component supply issues in the first half of the year and raw materials shortages that meant that we hardly shipped any bikes from January to March. All of our factories are now running double shifts to catch up with orders.

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