AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – A hot, rainy summer and an early and cold winter in combination with the economic decline made many Dutch decide to refrain from buying a new bicycle in 2010. The total number of bicycles sold last year dropped to 1,186,000 units; 7% down on the 2009 total.
The sector’s turnover was again saved by the e-Bike and decreased by only 3.5% to € 898 million. Electric bicycles were the only category which showed an increase in units sold related to 2009. The total number of e-Bikes sold rose from 153,720 in 2009 to 166,040 in 2010. This stood for a 14% market share in the total number of bikes sold last year.
These figures were published by the Dutch industry association Rai Vereniging at the national trade show FietsVAK last Monday. According to the Rai association the average price of bicycles sold through the specialist dealer channel increased by 6% to € 916. This is mainly the result of the growing e-Bike sales. The average price of bicycles including sales at supermarkets and DIY stores is € 757.
Electric bikes are nowadays an important turnover driver for Dutch IBDs. It’s not the only category still showing an increase in the numbers sold; e-Bikes are also more or less exclusively sold through dealers in the Netherlands nowadays. Their know-how and service in combination with the quality awareness of consumers resulted in a retail price of € 1,500 at least. However, at last weekend’s trade show FietsVAK it was clear that the number of suppliers offering lower priced quality e-Bikes is growing rapidly.
Although the Rai does not keep official statistics of the amount of orders at dealer’s workshops, the association also reported an increasing turnover for bicycle repair as many consumers postponed the acquisition of a new bicycle and kept on using their old ones.
For 2011 the Rai association expects a stable market with a possible increase of 3% in units. However, this greatly depends on the new tax regime currently under discussion at the Dutch Government. The future of the Dutch “Bike to Work Scheme” is threatened by budget cuts. It might even be abolished completely. In 2010 this “Bike to Work Scheme” accounted for 16% of all bike sales, or 189,760 units.