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Holland: Drop in Sales Despite Booming e-Bikes

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AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands – Despite all the jubilant reports on booming e-Bike sales, things were not all rosy on the Dutch bike market during the first six months of 2008. According to market researcher GfK Benelux Marketing Services turnover at the Dutch dealers during the first five months of the year

Holland: Drop in Sales Despite Booming e-Bikes

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands – Despite all the jubilant reports on booming e-Bike sales, things were not all rosy on the Dutch bike market during the first six months of 2008. According to market researcher GfK Benelux Marketing Services turnover at the Dutch dealers during the first five months of the year dropped 4.3% compared to the same period in 2007. June sales are said to have been excellent and made up some of the loss of the first five months.

When comparing bike sale during the first half’s of 2007 and 2008 one has to take into account that nice spring weather gave bike sales a big boost in the Netherlands last year. Unfortunately summer and autumn saw bad weather which led to a dramatic drop in sales. Still 2007 ended with a 5.8% growth in unit sales to a total of 1.4 million new bikes.

Pedelec sales

89,000 of that 1.4 million bikes sold last year in the Netherlands were electric ones. For the whole of 2008 again a big increase in e-Bike sales is expected as during the first three months of the year already 25,000 e-Bikes were sold compared to 14,000 during the same period in 2007.  For the whole of 2007 e-Bike sales in Holland ended at 89,000 units (45,000 was the total 2006 number).

The Dutch Dealer association BOVAG expects that for the whole year 2008 e-Bikes sales will amount to 120,000 units. With that number this new category is growing to a substantial market share of close to 10%. However, thanks to the high retail prices of e-Bikes in terms of turnover this category is quickly growing to a market share that easily doubles the one that is measured in units.

Halfords Holland

But, as said, apart from the e-Bikes, other bicycle sale haven’t been all that well in Holland during the first six months of 2008. Halfords Holland with an estimated share of about 10% in the Dutch market recently reported that its sale is affected by a drop in consumer confidence. This was not the case at retail organization ‘Bike Totaal’ that reported a 4% turnover plus at its dealer/members during the first five months of the year. With that said sales in Holland during the first half of 2008 present a mixed picture. One thing is sure though, the 2007 results could not be repeated.

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