Frankfurt am Main – The bicycle industry recently surged from one high to the next, becoming an even more important global industry in terms of sales and employment figures over this period. The market has recently returned to normality. The industry is now highly optimistic over the medium term, especially because cycling is becoming more popular than ever. This is the international experts' summary of the situation at the business press conference as part of Eurobike, the flagship bicycle and future mobility trade fair which opened today in Frankfurt am Main.
The industry's real product is cycling itself. Its popularity continues apace, says Kevin Mayne, participant in the press conference and CEO of the association Cycling Industries Europe (CIE): "Our industry's economic fundamentals are in great shape. Governments at all levels – EU, national, municipal and regional – are investing, adding about seven percent new cyclists every year. The cyclists we created during the pandemic continue to ride. With more and more people returning to the workplace, the number of daily cyclists is increasing even further. Growth is not as high as during the pandemic, but this is real market development. Other industries look enviously at cycling, with mobility and tourism sectors unable to match these numbers."
The supply chain is up and running again
According to the CIE, it may take a while to replace the millions of bicycles purchased in the 2020, 2021 pandemic years and through into 2022. In recent years, the bicycle industry faced high demand that outstripped supply due to the pandemic. Things are changing not only in Germany where the season got off to a cautious start due to the inclement weather through into May, inflation and increased energy costs. The situation has now improved and consumers are benefiting from a wide choice of products from retail outlets in a fiercely competitive market environment.
After the bicycle industry's dizzying growth figures in recent years, the industry entered a correction phase, with supply and demand having to level out. In the key industrial location of Taiwan, business is therefore sluggish in some areas, especially for manufacturers of low- and medium-priced bicycles and e-bikes. Deborah Wu, managing director of chain manufacturer KMC Global GmbH, describes the situation: "Over the last three years, the global bicycle market has faced unexpectedly rapid growth in demand, interruptions in supply chains and excess inventories, and now the market is restructuring. Supply chains play an important role when looking to increase bicycle sales and the kilometers cycled by end users. Globalization, the transition to sustainable and intelligent processes and the current huge surplus of inventories pose challenges for these complex systems. But market demand and supply will return to normal and most market participants will be able to overcome the current problems."
E-bikes advance the economy
For future success, the industry needs to keep an eye on some disruptive developments. New consumer needs such as sharing and subscription models must be served and addressed by non-industry players such as the automotive sector. Positive trends are still apparent in the nuances of the industry's economic development even after years of booming growth. E-bikes in particular are driving the overall economy forward in terms of jobs and investment. Politicians are watching this trend closely.
The European bicycle market is the most valuable market globally, according to Manuel Marsilio, managing director of the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (Conebi): "Despite the slowdown in bicycle sales in Europe in 2022, the overall trend of the industry and the market is positive: Sales of e-bikes increased by almost nine percent and production by 19 percent compared to 2021. Sales of bicycles and e-bikes grew by more than seven percent, investment increased by more than 14 percent, and direct and indirect jobs reached the record level of 190,000."
Bicycle industry also creates jobs in tourism
From an employment perspective, sectors not related directly to the industry such as tourism also benefit from bicycles and e-bikes. In Germany, for example, around 63,000 people worked in the manufacturing, trade and services sectors in 2022, according to a report from the agency T3. Added to which were 263,000 jobs in the bicycle tourism sector.
The bicycle industry has become a serious player and is well represented with Eurobike in the heart of Europe. 80 percent of the e-bikes sold in Europe are also assembled here. Stefan Reisinger from Eurobike organizer fairnamic GmbH sums up the situation with reference to the international field of participants from over 1,900 exhibitors: "Eurobike is excellently positioned in the heart of Europe – the globally leading market for the use of high-quality bicycles, e-bikes and light electric vehicles. We offer the future mobility industry in Frankfurt am Main the right backdrop to drive forward the spectacular uptake of cycling for the energy and mobility transition, but also for leisure, fitness, holidays and health."
The 31st Eurobike will open from Wednesday, June 21 to Sunday, June 25, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Festival Days: Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit: www.eurobike.com.
Eurobike is the central platform of the cycling and future mobility 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.
About fairnamic GmbH:
With the founding of fairnamic GmbH, the trade fair companies Frankfurt and Friedrichshafen are sealing a partnership focusing on innovative mobility. The market position in the future markets of bicycles, e-bikes, light electric mobility 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 flagship trade fairs.
About the companies and associations in today’s press conference:
Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) is a trade association for companies from all sectors of cycling, working at the European level. It brings the voice of the business sector to policy makers, showing that cycling is good for economies, the environment and society. CIE advocates for better cycling infrastructure and local policies, while showing that the industry can contribute new technologies such as e-bikes, cargo bikes and innovative services.
CONEBI is the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry. It represents the Bicycle, E-Bike and Parts & Accessories Industries before the European and International institutions. Its members are the national Bicycle Industry Associations in 15 countries: more than 600 companies are directly associated to the CONEBI national associations.
KMC Group is the world’s leading chain manufacturer. KMC Global GmbH owned by KMC Group, is a service-oriented company, which operates in sales, market management, brand management, warehouse-logistics service and after-service in Europe.