COLOGNE, Germany (30 March 2000)--According to Rolf Lemberg, general manager of VFM, in 1999 some 4.94 million bicycles were shipped out in 1999, up 4% over 1998. As was the case elsewhere in Europe, it had a whole lot to do with the good weather. Of the 4.94 million bicycle units mentioned by the VFM, 3.2 million were produced in Germany, while 1.94 million units were imported and 230,000 exported. The numbers underline the strength of German producers on their home market. In 1999 they reinforced their share of home deliveries by 2%, up to 61%. At the same time, exports took a definite turn for the worse--down a significant 45.2%, from 430,000 in 1998 to 230,000 last year. VFM GM Lemberg attributes this drop to low-cost producing manufacturers "out of Europe's non-EU nations." According to the VFM, bicycle imports to Germany dropped 3% to a total of 1.94 million units last year. Taiwan remained the main bicycle exporting nation to Germany with approximately 300,000 units.
A more detailed report will be included in the April and May issues of Bike Europe. (JB)