Over 50 years in business…
Great products enter the market in a steady stream these days, but enduring products are seen less and less. Since it takes more than a great product that provides sustainability, it takes character of the owner, and true vision. Oyama carries forth the essence of this and its long-term path is clear with the Wang family intimately involved in all aspects. Here is the Oyama story.
From humble beginnings the founder of Oyama, Mr. Wang has emerged as one of the leaders in the folding bike movement. The second oldest of 7 children, Mr. Wang left school early to help his mother support the family after his father, a farmer died at the age of 39 from pesticide poisoning.
The odyssey into the world of bicycle manufacturing started after Mr. Wang worked as an apprentice machinist. He had a natural talent for designing and creating products. So much so, that when he left to start his own business at the age of 18, his employer told him not to compete in the same field his boss was in. Cycling components is what caught Mr. Wang’s eye, he loves R&D, and so starts his historic rise in the cycling industry, later designing and creating complete bikes. Oyama has roots in China, and means Big Mountain in Chinese. Mr. Wang realized that as a young person he had to have an older appearance to be taken seriously, so he grew a moustache, which still adorns his face today.
Like so many businesses, Mr. Wang encountered challenges that forced him for a short time to close the business and return to the fields to earn money for his family. A difficult situation arose when Mr. Wang had quoted pricing to his customers according to the material costs he was originally quoted, but when it came time to manufacture, the costs more than doubled. He was in a real quandary. Fulfill the orders at the quoted price, and accept delivery from his supplier would put him out of business but be the honorable thing to do, or cancel his order and stay in business, but disrupt all the other businesses. It was a defining moment that would carve his character forever. He accepted the order and took care of everyone, causing him to return to the farm. Mr. Wang was rewarded for his integrity, when one day a client drove out by taxi to meet him at the farm and ask him to manufacture for him. The client gave Mr. Wang the money to restart his business because of his skill and character. Never again would the doors be shuttered at Oyama.
Mr. Wang decided to create folders because as a component manufacturer he would not be competing with the other complete bike manufactures he was creating components for, and folders intrigued him. He saw them in Japan, but it was very rudimentary and he knew he could create something better. Now 30 years later, Oyama’s folders offer leading edge technology, with clear function and use for each model.
Today Oyama employs more than 650, with family members holding key positions in the company. Customers today honor the ever-humble Mr. Wang.
As a company, Oyama stands for Integrity, Quality, and Authenticity.