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The bicycle industry is resilient

3 Jul 2024

Business press conference: Reset in the Bicycle Industry – Unbroken Optimism about the Future of Cycling

Frankfurt am Main – After record demand during the pandemic years, disrupted supply chains and a subdued consumer climate, the European bike industry is seeing declines in sales, production and employment in 2023. Nevertheless, on the way to a new normal, the optimism of many industry players regarding the future of the bicycle as a means of transport and the associated demand remains unbroken. The Eurobike started today, with an increased scope of exhibitor and visitor target groups, new cooperations and a supporting program with again enhanced quality. It is an ideal platform for important concerns of the bike industry and ecomobility.

In the EU27 countries and the United Kingdom, sales of pedelecs decreased by seven percent in 2023 compared to the previous year, reaching 5.1 million units sold. Including the non-motorized bicycle market, sales were 16.5 percent below the previous year's figure, totaling 16.8 million units. According to market data from the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI), Germany is the strongest overall market and the most important market for pedelecs, followed by France. For bicycles, the United Kingdom ranks first ahead of Germany. The European markets generated sales of EUR 19.3 billion for the bicycle industry, 8.9 percent less than in 2022. The manufacturers produced 12 million bicycles and pedelecs in the EU27 and the United Kingdom. The bicycle industry accounts for around 170,000 indirect and direct jobs in around 1,200 companies, many of them small and medium-sized enterprises. As a result, employment fell by 5.5 percent compared with the previous year.

Manuel Marsilio, Managing Director of CONEBI comments on the development: "In 2023, the European bicycle industry experienced a "reset", adjusting to the broader economic reality, the exceptionally positive sales during the pandemic years and the disruptions in the supply chain. Sales declined due to – among several factors – the rising cost of living and diminished purchasing power of European consumers. Despite this, the industry demonstrated overall resilience and the prospect related to the growth of cycling usage remains promising".

Optimistic future prospects

Survey results from Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) are also a positive sign for the industry. 52 percent of the members expect higher sales for 2024 than in the previous year. There is also reason for European politicians to be optimistic, as CIE Managing Director Kevin Mayne explains: "Cycling in Europe has never had stronger political momentum. The European Declaration on Cycling, adopted in April, recognizes cycling as an inclusive, affordable and economically successful means of transport and leisure. EUR 4.5 billion is the committed infrastructure spend in the current EU budgets, and CIE expects that this will be expanded by more funding in other EU and national budgets. With this incentive, our members are saying they are optimistic for the future, with nearly two thirds planning to maintain or increase expenditures on capital, innovation and marketing".

The European market is pioneering in many industries and shows good conditions for increasing local production and being able to establish new branches of international companies. Joshua Hon, Founder and Team Captain at bicycle manufacturer Tern Bicycles, recognizes some calls for action for the bicycle industry and its stakeholders: "It’s important for all of us in the bike industry to adapt, evolve, and innovate. Of course this includes products, but it also includes taking a hard look at our existing business models". In order to create the right conditions for a successful future of the bike industry, the industry focuses on resilient supply chains, sustainability as well as clear and transparent standards and regulations. It is important to address the customers, that is, existing and potential cyclists, in a targeted manner with the right messages and marketing measures.

Solidarity at Eurobike

With more than 1,800 exhibitors, 150,000 square meters of exhibition space, a versatile and top-class conference and lecture program, Eurobike offers the perfect setting for global exchange in order to advance these topics, which are so central to future success. Stefan Reisinger, Managing Director of fairnamic, the organizer of Eurobike, explains: "The bicycle and ecomobility industry is the key to health, fitness, sustainable mobility and thus quality of life all over the world. With this strong solidarity, the industry can ideally continue its success story at Eurobike 2024".

Florian Walberg, founder and managing director of the e-scooter manufacturer Egret, complements the stage of the press conference as a representative of the ecomobility industry and sees Eurobike as the central trade fair of its industry. The public perception of e-scooters is strongly influenced by sharing providers, although they represent only a fraction of the vehicles produced in this segment. Those who use the vehicles privately usually take them with them to their home or office. The e-scooter industry sometimes has strong overlaps with the bicycle industry in drives, brakes and batteries, for instance. Florian Walberg explains: "E-scooters and bicycles complement each other perfectly in the mobility mix. While bicycles are often used for medium and long distances, e-scooters are the perfect vehicle for short distances, also known as the "last mile." Both forms of mobility pursue the same goal: to make people mobile and to ease the traffic situation in cities. This can also be seen in the fact that retailers are increasingly offering both vehicle classes side by side. I am delighted that the bicycle and e-scooter industries are working in partnership and that, with Egret at Eurobike, we are not only exhibitors at eye level, but also representatives and contacts for our industry".

About Eurobike:

Eurobike is the central platform for the bike and ecomobility universe. Together with visionaries from politics, business, society and the mobility industry, it creates space for communication, new ideas, change of perspective, and strong partnerships for innovative mobility solutions and new business models. With Eurobike, the booming and rapidly changing bicycle and future mobility industries have found a common platform. It sets new standards and identifies key topics in the areas of sports, leisure, health and mobility, makes continuous progress and brings the global community together live. The 32nd Eurobike will take place on the grounds of Messe Frankfurt from Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7, 2024. For more information, go to: www.eurobike.com

About fairnamic GmbH:

With the founding of fairnamic GmbH, the trade show companies Frankfurt and Friedrichshafen are sealing a partnership focusing on innovative mobility. The market position in the future markets of bicycles, e-bikes, ecomobility and general aviation is strengthened by pooling expertise and market knowledge, global positioning, brand strength and speed. The joint venture focuses on the Eurobike and AERO brands and their satellites. The objective is to expand and further develop the two leading trade shows. For more information, go to: www.fairnamic.com

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