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Quick- can you name the most widely recognized consumer brand in the bicycle industry, and the best-selling bicycle brand in America, since 1977? If you’re not sure, that’s ok, as there’s a link at the end of this article. This “American” brand is on its way to being sold in India. Some might read the article and feel that India is getting the 2nd worst bicycle brand in the US, (I’m pretty sure the top honors in that category goes to WalMart’s Next brand) even though they’re being called “premium” in the article I’m quoting from. Of course, given the average wage in India, pricing something at the equivalent of US$100-$300 probably does make it a premium product.
Anyway, millions of Hindus will some day proudly be riding around on their “American brand” bicycles, most likely produced wholly in China, using designs and technology from one or two decades ago. Which begs the next question – If they can build that silly little Nano car, why don’t they just build a factory, create some jobs, and make their own bicycles? The existence of Tata Motors already proves that they have the engineering skills, access to raw materials, and cheap labor necessary to produce cars, so bicycles can’t be too difficult. And stealing production from China can only be good for the environment. It just seems to me that they’re being sold a questionable bill of goods, when they can probably do much better on their own.
To get the answer to the quiz, and read what sparked this (rant?) article, click here.