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KYMCO's 50 years of devotion: A local motorcycle factory becomes an internationally famed company/50載淬鍊 KYMCO躋身國際機車大廠

 

KYMCO's 50 years of devotion:

A local motorcycle factory becomes an internationally famed company

◎English translation: Wendy Wei Chang

 

  Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd, (KYMCO), established in Kaohsiung, has spent half a century diligently developing its motorcycles. Today, KYMCO's motorcycles are found in 97 countries across five continents. Within Taiwan, it has been the best-selling motorcycle brand every year since 2000.

  Established in 1963, KYMCO was for a long time in a partnership with Japan's Honda Motor Co. Ltd. The two companies worked together for 33 years. During the partnership, KYMCO built up its industrial capacity. In 1992, after the two companies had terminated their partnership, KYMCO launched its own motorcycle brand. According to KYMCO General Manager Mr. Ke Jun-Bin, the company's sophisticated manufacturing skills for step-through scooters are, without a doubt, among the very best in the world. KYMCO currently has 4,800 employees globally, half of whom are Taiwanese. In addition, KYMCO has factories and marketing divisions in the USA, the UK, Luxembourg, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In 2013, KYMCO's revenue was NT$36.65 billion, with total motorcycle sales of 12 million units.

  Walking into KYMCO's Kaohsiung factory, one is immediately impressed by the massive scale of its production line, which is comparable to anything operated by better-known multinationals. Fifty workers assemble different components for this year's new scooter, the "Many 125" model launched in July. Around 40% of the motorcycles' main components, such as the engines, are made by KYMCO. It takes five minutes to complete the production cycle, which includes 52 steps. A fully assembled scooter is finished every 50 seconds, and the Kaohsiung factory produces 1,800 to 2,200 motorcycles per day.

  KYMCO started to expand into overseas markets back in 1979. The company started in Italy, the country from where step-through scooters originated, and Europe's largest consumer motorcycle market. Scooters are KYMCO's specialty, and the company eventually achieved third place in Italy's imported-scooter market, with a market share of 15% to 17%. In terms of quality, KYMCO scooters are comparable to other international brands, but they have the advantage of being 5% to 10% cheaper. KYMCO's attractive prices have allowed the company to prosper in Europe. Building on their initial success in Italy, KYMCO's scooters and ATVs have achieved first, second or third place in the imported-motorcycle markets in Germany, Spain, and France.

  KYMCO's impressive success can be attributed to its customized products. Consumers in different countries have different expectations, and the company has found it is important to obtain accurate information about these expectations, so it can tailor its motorcycles to match local needs. Customer feedback is tremendously valuable to KYMCO. The company collects feedback from sales agents and at events such as the Milan EICMA Motorcycle Show. KYMCO continues to develop new equipment and technologies to produce motorcycles which meet consumers' expectations.

  Every year, KYMCO commits 6% to 7% of its operating revenue (more than NT$1 billion) to R&D. The company has 561 research staff around the world, including 444 in Taiwan. KYMCO's emphasis on R&D results in it obtaining 130 to 160 patents per year. For ten years, the company has partnered with BMW in Germany, Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan, and Arctic Cat in the USA. Through these partnerships, KYMCO has been able to learn detection and measurement techniques which are key to the development of motorcycles with larger engines. As a result, KYMCO has won a reputation for being able to produce powerful motorcycles, comparable in quality to those made by US or UK companies. In 2011, BMW revealed that its 450cc off-road motorcycle was to be outsourced to KYMCO for production in Taiwan. Since then, KYMCO's reputation and popularity has grown thanks to strong sales in Germany, Italy, and Spain.

  Europe used to be KYMCO's main export destination. However, due to Europe's economic crisis and increasing sales in Central and South America, KYMCO's sales are now balanced between Europe and the Americas. In one deal, Mr. Ke says, KYMCO sold all the used and scrap vehicles it had in Taiwan to Nigeria. Nigeria's high demand for such goods eventually exceeded KYMCO's supply, and as a result KYMCO unexpectedly opened a new sales channel in Nigeria.

  As for Asian markets, it is possible to anticipate the sales of a motorcycle model throughout the region by looking at its sales in Taiwan. Generally speaking, if a particular model sells a lot in Taiwan, it will also attract many customers in Japan, Korea, and China. KYMCO motorcycles are durable and stable, and KYMCO was the first motorcycle maker in Taiwan to offer two-year warranties. KYMCO's road tests for new motorcycles are stricter than the government's, so the quality of its motorcycles is trusted by customers. By integrating modern designs, KYMCO continuously develops new products that are fashionable and attractive. As Taiwan's leading motorcycle company, KYMCO believes that in order to excel, the company has to go the extra mile to stay innovative. Speaking of KYMCO's outlook, Mr. Ke says he hopes KYMCO's motorcycles can match the quality and price of other international brands.

  To make its business more sustainable and efficient, KYMCO has established a network of 3,500 exclusive dealerships and 6,000 non-exclusive dealerships. KYMCO has also given a brighter and cleaner look to 250 recently-renovated dealerships, naming them "KYMCO Excellent Network." KYMCO hopes its customers can enjoy more transparent services in terms of pricing and maintenance, as well as a more comfortable environment in its renovated dealerships.

 

50載淬鍊

KYMCO躋身國際機車大廠

◎文/侯雅婷

 

  立足高雄的光陽工業以「KYMCO」機車品牌,歷經半世紀耕耘,經營版圖遍及全球五大洲、97個國家,並自2000年起,連續14年蟬連台灣市佔率第一。

  光陽工業1964年成立之初,為日本本田公司在台生產機車組裝的技術合作廠,長達33年的合作關係,奠定紮實的產業實力,之後由於雙方終止合作,1992年光陽工業推出KYMCO自有品牌。總經理柯俊斌談起自家最擅長的產品線「速克達」這款機車,製作技術已臻世界一流。時至今日,全球員工數4,800人,其中台灣員工就佔半數,除了台灣;美國、英國、盧森堡、中國、菲律賓和越南等國共設置10處生產基地或行銷公司。2013年KYMCO集團年營業額為新台幣366.5億元,累計銷售1,200萬部機車。

  踏進光陽工業高雄廠裝配作業線,窺見國際機車大廠井然有序的線上作業。完成車裝配線上有50位作業員在線上進行組裝作業,正在組裝今( 2014)年7月新上市取名為「Many 125」的速克達車款,從第一個工作站到下線完成歷時5分鐘,總計52道程序,每間隔約50秒就組裝完成一部機車,高雄廠每天生產1,800至2,200部機車。其中主要零件如引擎等,整部機車四成核心零組件為光陽工業自行產製。

  光陽工業早於1979年就進軍海外,第一站選擇指標性的義大利。義大利是歐洲最大機車消費市場,同時也是速克達這款機車的發源地。速克達正好是KYMCO的強項,因此拿下義大利速克達款機車進口品牌銷售第三名成績,在義大利市佔率達15%至17%。KYMCO的品質穩定媲美國際機車大廠水準,價格卻便宜5%至10%,這也成為KYMCO在歐洲發展的利基。繼義大利市場後,KYMCO速克達和ATV(全地形沙灘車)兩個品項,在德國、西班牙及法國等國進口銷售排名,分別囊括第一至第三名佳績。

  光陽工業這番亮眼的成績,歸功於因地制宜的產品,機車性能必須符合各國消費者的期待,因此得精準掌握消費資訊,製造出能引起消費者共鳴的機車,因此光陽工業格外重視消費端的使用心得,從代理商和經銷商獲得回饋意見。此外,每年參加米蘭車展是另一個獲得消費者意見的重要管道。再者,光陽工業持續以創新設備和技術,研發出更貼近消費者需求的產品。

  光陽工業每年提撥營業額6~7%、平均超過新台幣10億元以上作為研究開發經費,全球561位研發人員,其中台灣有444位,重視研究開發的光陽工業每年取得130至160項專利,光陽工業與德國BMW、日本KAWASAKI及美國ARCTIC CAT等國際大廠代工合作長達10年時間,期間致力發展大排氣量的機車引擎,也學習其使用的檢測儀器和各項檢測重點,為躋身與歐美國際機車大廠同級的大排氣量機車引擎製造商打下根基。2011年BMW 公司公開表示,該廠牌450c.c.的越野車是委請台灣的光陽工業代工,讓KYMCO一舉打響名號,也帶動KYMCO於德國、義大利、法國和西班牙等國的銷售量。

  過去歐洲為KYMCO最主要的出口地區,受到歐債危機影響,再加上中南美洲的銷售持續成長;今日的KYMCO於歐洲與美洲的銷售數量各佔五成。KYMCO總經理柯俊斌談起,KYMCO還因當初國內的中古車和報廢車被銷往奈及利亞,在當地供不應求,而意外開啟KYMCO在奈及利亞的新興市場。

  台灣是亞洲市場銷售指標,往往在台銷售亮眼的機車,在日本、韓國和中國也都會熱賣。KYMCO機車既耐用和穩定性高,率業界之先提供消費者2年保固,祭出比政府規定更嚴格的道路測試,因而深受消費者信賴。再加上持續地推出新產品,以新世代的設計語彙,研發出貼熨著時代潮流的機車,獲得消費者更多的認同。這間最受國人青睞的機車大廠,始終抱持著比別人努力和創新的信念,追求卓越。總經理柯俊斌談起KYMCO的遠景,他表示KYMCO希望達到與國際機車大廠同等級的品質和售價。

  為了永續經營台灣市場,KYMCO有3,500處經、專銷店和6,000處分銷店,提供消費者更便捷的服務,同時大刀闊斧進行經、專銷店空間改造,全台設置近250處KYMCO優質服務網,希望讓消費者踏入新一代的通路有如走進超商般,提供透明的服務、訂價、維修以及更舒適的空間。