MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom (BRAIN) —The U.S. industry, which depends on China for about 95% of its bikes as well as many of its parts and accessories, is bracing for disruption due to the Coronavirus. The virus has sickened thousands in China and led to travel restrictions into and out of the country, as well as within it.
Many bike companies in China and Taiwan have been closed because of the multi-week Chinese New Year holiday. But some were set to re-open late this week or next week. That’s when the industry will learn how much the travel restrictions disrupt business, said Mark Pippin, a long time U.S. industry member who now works for the UK distributor Madison.
“It’s still a little early to tell,” Pippin said. Pippin, the director of Madison’s bike division, has been traveling in China on work for decades, although he hasn’t been there since October.
The virus is most prevalent in Wuhan, where there isn’t much manufacturing. However, many factory workers return to their homes in rural areas like Wuhan for the holiday; now quarantines may prevent them from returning to the factories in more populated regions.
The outbreak is …read more