in Kobe, Japan, and subsequently by Giant of Taiwan. bike boom of the 1970s and into the 1980s, Nishiki and West Coast Cycle competed with domestic companies including Schwinn, Huffy, and Murray; European companies including Raleigh, Peugeot and Motobecane—as well as other nascent Japanese brands including Miyata, Fuji, Bridgestone, Panasonic, Univega, Lotus and Centurion—itself a line of Japanese-manufactured bicycles that were specified, distributed and marketed by Western States Imports (WSI), a U. The Cohens subsequently founded a bicycle, parts and accessory distribution company in the late 1950s, naming it West Coast Cycle Supply Company.
The bicycles were first marketed under the American Eagle brand beginning in 1965 and later under the Nishiki brand until 2001. They operated the company — widely known as West Coast Cycle (or WCC) — with their daughter Louise and sons Leo Jr. Howie Cohen subsequently took over the business, followed by his brother.
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and especially, a Japanese bicycle factory capable of producing high quality bikes that would be welcomed by U. independent bike dealers and the bicycling community; bicycles that would be able to compete with American and European-built bicycles.
After visiting over 60 bicycles factories over a period of six weeks, Cohen turned to Kawamura Cycles.
Kawamura had produced quality bicycles for the Japan domestic market, but at the directive of their overseas buyers, had produced lower-quality, lower-priced bicycles for the U. market, for example, under the brand name 'Royce Union.'Cohen also created working relationships with Japanese bicycle parts manufacturers including Asahi, Araya, Dia-Compe, Kashima, Kusuki, Kyokuto (KKT), Mikashima (MKS), Mitsuboshi, Taihei, Sanshin, Shimano, Sugino, Takagi, Suntour and others.
Cohen travelled to Japan 8-10 times per year while developing his brands (American Eagle, Nishiki, Azuki and Cycle Pro).
He then made the decision to relocate to Los Angeles.