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<b>Finland 2005:</b> Hot Summer Rolled on Bikes

Sales & Trends

MAARSSEN, Finland – The cold northern climate has always had a strong impact on bicycle sales in Finland. Mostly the reports have told how the rain and cold destroyed the optimism inside the trade. However, the past 2006 season was hot, and hot has the business been too. Bicycle Market in Finland (in units)   […]

<b>Finland 2005:</b> Hot Summer Rolled on Bikes

MAARSSEN, Finland – The cold northern climate has always had a strong impact on bicycle sales in Finland. Mostly the reports have told how the rain and cold destroyed the optimism inside the trade. However, the past 2006 season was hot, and hot has the business been too.

Bicycle Market in Finland (in units)

 
2004
2005
2006
Production
70,000
60,000
50,000
Import
211,000
267,679
270,000
Export
9,293
9,119
13,000
Deliveries
295,000
310,000
320,000

Source: Association of Bicycle Manufactures

The Finns enjoyed an unusually hot summer. The season started slowly and in May the expectations were on the even level. Summer months were hot and encouraged the people to ride to work and for leisure.
The retailers reported good sales figures in June – August. The total supplies to the trade were on the same level as in 2005, but now the retailers sold out their stocks. That of course is a favourable situation for the next season. The retailers can start with fresh models for 2007.

There have been quite a lot of changes inside the trade. Market leader Tunturi has ended the manufacture of the bikes in Finland and will have them made in Hungary in the Accell Group  factory there. As an old and traditional Finnish brand, Tunturi faces a new situation, when it can not use the old industrial heritage as a sales argument any more.

Next to Accell, Cycleurope is a big player on the Finnish market. The Finnish distributor of Cycleurope has got a new managing director, Mr. Jussi Laurikainen, who will have a hard task to keep the high reputation and market posistion of the Cycleurope brands among the increasing competition.
From now on, Helkama is the only remaining manufacturer in Finland and it can use the domestic origin as a sales argument.

Mixed distribution

Over the past couple of years, the other-than-traditional distribution channels have increased their market share. It now seems that a kind of  balance has been reached,  and there have been no big shifts during the past year. The sporting goods stores have enlarged their bicycle floor spaces during the last five years. Consumers like the large format shops and larger selections, so much has become clear from their reactions.

Some bicycle retailers have followed the model and opened new shops over 1000 m2. This size allows to have a proper amount of bikes on show and provides some exclusivity to new consumer groups. This year the emphasis has been on road reacers and women. Many shops have a women’s corner with women specific bike models and matching apparel. The suppliers say that the order level for 2007 is even or better than a year before. That is always a sign to tell, that the retailers are happy with their sales, old stock has been shod and the traders have positive estimates for next season.

The Finns Want to Have a Motorized Two Wheeler

Motorized two-wheelers enjoy a nice boom in Finland. The sales of motorcycles has been in constant growth for years and now those under 50 cc are in Top Gear. Sales of motorcycles in Finland have increased more than 10 % this year, and the increase in value is even bigger. Like in most western countries, the trend is towards larger and more sophisticated models.

But at the same time, sales of mopeds and scooters less than 50 cc have increased with more than 20 %. The low-priced Chinese brands have conquered the market, and many people were lured by the price tag. The new supply from China has awakened the interest of a new distribution. Many companies outside the traditional motorcycle and bicycle retail circuit have realized the potential of moped sales and entered the market.

According to estimates by the Association of Motorcycle Dealers, there are over 200 companies that have imported mopeds from China this year. Some of them have imported only 50 units or so, but anyhow, they are playing in the market and offering their products. But the traditional importers still think that the market will condense and that the tiny and instant importers will disappear from the business.

Motorcycle Market in Finland (in units)

 
2004
2005
2006 (1-9)
< 50 cc
17,804
20,895
24,438
>50 cc
7,835
9,228
10,247

Source: Association of Motorcycle dealers

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