Taiwan manufacturer looks to team up with distributor
In Europe, Taiwan Golden Bee (TGB) is an off-road force to be reckoned with. The Taiwan-based manufacturer counted itself as the ATV market share leader in Germany as of 2013, and the same year it was second in share in France.
Yet, in North America, TGB ATVs cannot be found for sale. TGB, a 50-year-old manufacturer, is hoping to change that soon. The OEM is looking for a partner to become the distributor of TGB ATVs and side-by-sides in North America.
TGB staff recently visited the U.S. to learn more about the North American market, talk to OEMs about private label partnerships, exhibit at the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) and attend the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo). However, during the trip, TGB’s primary focus was finding new contacts for a North American distributor.
Who is TGB?
TGB might be one of the oldest most established Taiwanese OEM that many haven’t heard of.
TGB is a subsidiary of Taiwan Vespa Company (TVC), which was established in 1965 as a licensee of Piaggio to produce Vespa scooters for Taiwan. TGB was the first Taiwanese company to produce continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), TGB president George Lin told Powersports Business during a September visit to Minneapolis.
TGB has established itself as a manufacturer of superior CVT technology, with many well-known North American and European OEMs using TGB CVTs for their powersports products.
Using its expertise gained with Vespa, TGB soon began developing a scooter engine, and in 2005, the OEM started manufacturing ATVs. In Europe its ATV lineup includes the Blade 550i SE IRS 4x4, Blade 550i LT IRS 4x4, Blade 550AR EFI EPS 4x4, the 4x4 Agrocarrier 500 and 6x6 Agrocarrier 500.
While TGB’s ATVs and side-by-sides haven’t hit North America yet, Excalibur Motorsports of Chino, Calif., is TGB’s North American scooter distributor.
The search for a distributor
When looking for a North American ATV and side-by-side distributor, TGB is seeking a partner with strong brand awareness, strong sales channels, an interest in entering the ATV and side-by-side markets, ambition to catch market opportunities and vision for the next potential trend.
TGB wants its next distributor to possess the same values its company encompasses. TGB refers to its management policy as “5P & 2S,” or “Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Payment, Service, Spare Parts.” Those seven anchors are aimed at delivering customer satisfaction. TGB’s vision also includes respect to the intellectual property, bringing value-added products and service to the customers, and forming strategic alliances with other like-minded companies.
“We want to bring the value to the customer,” Lin said.
Though TGB has already developed ATVs for other parts of the world, the OEM wants to work closely with its North American ATV and side-by-side distributor to manufacture the right vehicles for this market. TGB has created different vehicles for each of its distributors and for itself, and it would plan to do so for its future North American distributor as well. The goal is to work with the partner to deliver the right product for the North American customer.
TGB has 400cc and 500cc ATVs in its lineup, and with a new 1000cc V-twin engine in its roster, it has developed a 1000cc ATV. In addition, it has sketched out plans for 1000cc utility and sport side-by-sides. Each would have maximum power of 62KW/7,000 rpms and a max torque of 89.8Nm/5,500 rpms.
“Our slogan is ‘Play different’ — we want to bring the enjoyment and fun to the customer,” Lin explained.
In North America, TGB sees its ATVs and UTVs as a good compliment to other brands’ units, as some OEMs don’t currently offer a 1000cc option. Though TGB has yet to sign a North American distributor, the OEM has already commissioned EPA testing of its 1000cc ATV, so its new partner can hit the ground running. In its 50-year history, TGB products have passed all EPA certification tests.