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Malaise in Worldwide Bike Market

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MAARSSEN, The Netherlands (November 13) – The worlds’ bicycle markets are presently facing the biggest drops in sales in over a decade. Taiwan is hit the hardest with a drop in exports of 38%! However, this blow is cushioned by the rapidly growing, Taiwan controlled bicycle production in China. In the markets where the bike […]

MAARSSEN, The Netherlands (November 13) – The worlds’ bicycle markets are presently facing the biggest drops in sales in over a decade. Taiwan is hit the hardest with a drop in exports of 38%! However, this blow is cushioned by the rapidly growing, Taiwan controlled bicycle production in China. In the markets where the bike industry must make its money, there are no cushions to soften up the blows. In Europe as well as the US, bike business is in a malaise.
The first omens of the current malaise presented itself this spring in Europe as well as the US. Due to bad weather conditions bike sales remained at a worrying low level. In early spring other problems presented themselfves in the European countryside with the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth Epidemic. With the closing of all off road routes, public foothpaths and bridleways in the affected regions (and England as a whole) the first reports about a reduced demand for bikes and parts in Europe were already coming in in March. Summer sales couldn’t turn things for the better. Despite big differences with regard to declines in specific countries and market segments, industry observers take into account a drop of 15 to 20% for the whole year 2001 in Europe. Sales in the United States didn’t prove any better. Reports in the US industry journal ‘Bicycle Retailer’ indicate a 11% drop through August at IBD’s. And taking into account the tragic events in September and the dramatic consequences for the American economy, obviously there’s no room for optimism with regard to sales during the fourth quarter of 2001. All about the current malaise in the worldwide bike industry, including detailed statistics are in Bike Europe’s November editions which is distributed end November. (JO)

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