what to import from china
by taisau

Import From China – Bicycles

Despite different bicycle shops proclaiming a single bicycle brand over another, it seems that not 1 of the brands of bikes described is made in Britain. This surprised me when I went searching for a new bicycle. Since I ride a great deal and obtaining completed so for more than twenty-5 years, I am fed up with what I call the, “inexpensive bikes” – the ones exactly where I consistently have to get new components fitted. I have had a great number of bikes more than the years – none of them pricey, but all imports – the last 1 from Tunisia. That isn’t to say that bicycles aren’t produced in the UK these days, high-street bicycle shops and independents alike can identify some producers, but they are not what you would contact, ‘off-the-shelf’. They are practically all produced-to-order. By contrast China manufactured over sixty-3 million bikes total in 2008. 

To acquire a British-made bike, a punter will, much more than most likely, require to have it created-to-measure and hand-made. This is fine if a particular person can afford the sort of price tag that you would expect to spend for hand-created luxury. But supposing a person only has a few hundred pounds to spend (or much less!). Are we, then, destined to get only imported machines? Sadly, the answer appears to be yes. In years – or probably decades – gone by, it would have been specialist bikes that would have been imported from, say, Europe, and other, cheaper varieties imported from the Far East, like China. But ‘globalisation’ has stripped many manufacturing industries from British soil and sent it overseas. So, what constitutes ‘British-made’? Is it a Good that is developed and built in its entirety by British workers or simply a Very good that is assembled by British workers from imported elements? If a bike is imported from overseas due to the fact it is created in a country on an assembly line exactly where the labour prices are considerably more affordable than those of the UK, why are these machines nevertheless so expensive? If a hand-created bike can be created in Britain in a week for a couple of thousand pounds, is it beyond the realms of possibility to have an assembly line in the UK that can utilise British workers generating bikes for the very same 250 GBP to 1,000 GBP that we are currently ready to spend for an import?

Perhaps it is a reminder back to the days of British Leyland in the 1970’s and 1980’s when British produced cars have been just no competition for their Japanese counterparts. Yet, when the likes of Honda and Toyota brought manufacturing experience into Britain, it was British workers that have been, and nonetheless are – present credit-crunch aside – the labour force behind these facilities. So, does that make their items (in the UK) British-made? 

Britain is gradually being stripped of its engineering heritage. Trades like Fabrication, Coded-Welding, Fitting, Sheet-Metal Functioning just to name a few, are on the decline, with some colleges unable to attract young individuals back into these expertise. It is a Catch-22 circumstance. It is very good to know that highly skilled engineering companies nonetheless exist in Britain, capable to make hand-made, high quality bicycles, so why can’t we bring affordable bicycle manufacturing production lines back to Britain?

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Import From China – Bicycles
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