Bohle Reports ‘All Signs Point Towards Cycling’
REICHSHOF, Germany – Bicycle tyre supplier Ralf Bohle GmbH, owner of Schwalbe, saw stabilised sales last year. In 2017 the company generated a slight increase in turnover of 1.75% to 174 million euros compared to 2016. “For this year the market outlook is very positive,” says MD Frank Bohle.
“Given the positive conditions in general, we are confident about the 2018 results,” says Frank Bohle. “In many European countries, all signs point towards cycling. The bicycle provides amazingly simple answers to serious questions such as air pollution, the banning of diesel vehicles, traffic jams, noise or lack of exercise. These are just some of the reasons why I think a great future of the bicycle lays ahead of us, even if this boom we have in our minds has not yet shifted onto the road.”
Hope for traffic turnaround
Like before, Frank Bohle speaks openly about the policy in Germany when it comes to cycling. “Contrary to other countries, expansion of the cycling infrastructure in Germany is lagging behind,” says Frank Bohle. “While in Copenhagen, for example, cycling accounts for around 50 percent of overall traffic, this share fails to rise above 15 percent in Berlin. But there’s hope to get a traffic turnaround. This spring, triggered by the referendum on bicycles, Berlin will get the first German mobility law with a clear focus on bicycle traffic. Other cities have already launched similar initiatives. Now the time is here to start the promotion of cycling traffic on a larger scale in Germany and to implement it quickly.”
Green milestones and four-season bicycle tyres
As trendsetter in the market, Schwalbe launched Green Compound last year, a rubber compound made largely from renewable and recycled rubber. Its tube recycling scheme is also unique in the market. Cyclists hand in their old tubes at participating retailers while Schwalbe recycles them for the production of new tubes. The third green milestone is the GreenGuard puncture protection belt which consists partly of recycled rubber.
With its Schwalbe brand, Ralf Bohle GmbH is Europe’s market leader for bicycle tyres with sales partners in more than 60 countries. The family-run company, founded in Bergneustadt in 1922, currently employs 135 people at Ralf Bohle GmbH head office in Reichshof, Germany and another 60 people at five subsidiaries in Europe and North America. The company’s recipe for success is based on two important pillars: concentrating the entire product range on bicycle tyres and tubes, and two-stage sales via wholesalers to specialist retailers.