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<b>Germany 2005:</b> Stable Bicycle Sales

Sales & Trends

MAARSSEN, the Netherlands – For Germany, the 2005 bicycle year ended with a smile. With poor weather and and a sluggish economy in the first half year, the second benefited from the backlog demand and by an upbeat consumer mood. It could even balance the sales drop of the first six months. According to Germany’s […]

<b>Germany 2005:</b> Stable Bicycle Sales

MAARSSEN, the Netherlands – For Germany, the 2005 bicycle year ended with a smile. With poor weather and and a sluggish economy in the first half year, the second benefited from the backlog demand and by an upbeat consumer mood. It could even balance the sales drop of the first six months. According to Germany’s Two Wheeler Industry Association ZIV, total unit sales 2005 reached 4.75 million. Compared with the previous year this is a 1% (or 50,000 units) sales increase.

German Bicycle Production, Import & Export (in units)

 
2003
2004
2005
Production
3,194,000
2,920,000
2,689,000
+ Imports
2,206,000
2,280,000
2,434,000
– Exports
512,000
500,000
378,000
Domestic Deliveries
4,888,000
4,700,000
4,745,000

Source: ZIV

Good news for the country’s IBD’s: they kept their market share both in units and in value, 52% and 70% respectively. That’s the same as in 2004. Largest competitors are DIY markets, discounters and department stores with a market share of 39% in units. Nevertheless, when compared with 2004 their market share dropped 3%. Clear winners are the internet distributors. According to ZIV: 0.5% in 2004, 2% (or 170,000 units!) in 2005. It is logical that the virtual stores took their share mainly from the mass merchants, and not from the IBD’s. The remainder was sold by traditional mail order (3.5%, 2004: 4%) and ‘Others’ (2% vs 2004: 1%). The average sales price for a bicycle sold in Germany was € 341 – which means the average sales value dropped from € 344 in 2003 to € 341 in 2004 – minus 1% – could not be changed for the better. But it was stable. And this is – in times of a still sluggish German economy – also good news.

Home production

Germany’s home production dropped another 9% down to a total of 2.69 million units. Bicycle exports also dropped, to 378,000 units (minus 24.4%). The explanation given by the German bicycle industry association is that additional suppliers have entered the enlarged EU-market. And several German producers outsource their production, at least part of it, to Eastern European and other low labour costs countries.

Imports

The drop in home production and exports led to a 6.8% increase of imports up to a total of 2.43 million units. With 510,000 units from Taiwan (market share: 11%) the island remains the number one source for Germany, followed by Poland next door (400,000 units = 8% market share), Lithuania (330,000 units = 7%) and Vietnam (184,000 units = 4%). Taiwan plussed 25.6%), Poland +31.2% and Lithuania +31.5%. Due to the new EU anti-dumping tariffs the imports from Vietnam definitely suffered: the 2005 bicycle imports from Vietnam downhilled 41.4% in one year.

Bicycle categories

The most popular models sold in Germany were Trekking bikes (28% market share), followed by city bikes (27%), ATB’s (means fully equipped 26 inch-wheel lookalikes) 15%, ‘real’ mountainbikes 11% and road bikes including fitness- and cyclocross bikes (= 28 inch wheel category), 8%. The remaining percentage rates fall on juvenile bikes 5%, kiddybikes 3% and ‘others’ (recumbents etc.) 1%).

Bicycle parts

Exports of complete bicycles went slightly down, but exports of bike parts increased with 2.6% up to an estimated € 550 million. Imports of bike parts rose 3% to an estimated € 972 million.

‘Balance-Biking’

For 2006, ZIV created a new cycling concept which they named ‘Balance Biking’. It succeeds their previous wellness bike concept that apparently lost its temporary shine and was shelved. “Balance-Biking’ is not limited on one bicycle category like fitness biking; it shows all positive effects humans can experience while cycling. For those who cannot think out their own way of cycling, but feel obliged to start to do ‘something’ for health’s sake, it’s www.balance-biking.de.

German PTW Sales Recovers

After the “everyone rides, but no one buys” claim in 2004 the German PTW market cruised on a recovery road in 2005. A total of 265,985 PTW’s were sold last year, says the country’s Motorbike Industry Association IVM. Compared with 2004 this is a 4.39% plus. Major sales increases were made in the <50cc category as well as with all scooters.

The 2005 figures of the Motorbike Industry Association IVM and those of the German Two-Wheeler Industry Association ZIV are highly convergent (because both are based on new registrations by the KBA = ‘Kraftfahrbundesamt’). The under 50cc numbers however are totally different – see charts.
According to ZIV last year’s < 50cc sales reached an estimated 160,000 units. IVM estimates last year’s <50cc sales at 97,333 units. Of course, there is no registration but only insurance.

The calculation experts at ZIV explain the gap between both figures (160,000 minus 97,333 = 62,667 units difference) with countless Chinese four-stroke C50 clones sold through DIY-markets and other discounters. Good point. But did the mass merchants really sell so many 50cc’s? Anyhow, this category increased – IVM says 19.75%, ZIV no less than 60%. And: More than 90% of the < 50cc category falls on scooters.

50 to 125cc

IVM splits the 50 to 125cc figures in motorbikes and scooters. Motorbike sales in this category dropped 4.6% to 17,181 units, scooter sales increased 7.2% to 24,104 units. For a couple of years, German car drivers are permitted to ride a 125 cc on their car license. It works pretty well in several, but not yet all other European countries.

>125cc

The category over 125cc shows sales of 120,927 (- 5.2%) motorbikes and 6,440 (+ 18.7%) scooters. All in all, the German PTW market cruises now on a recovery road. Especially scooter sales are picking up. It underlines the fact that the urban mobility scooter is a trend – even in Germany.

German PTW Sales by Engine Capacity (in units)

 
2004
2005
< 50cc    
100,000
160,000
> 50 – 125cc
42,000
41,285
> 125cc
133,000
127,000
Total
275,000
328,285

Source: ZIV

 German Motorbike/Scooter sales by category (in units)

2005
Motorbikes
Scooters
Total
>50 – 125cc
17,181
24,104
41,285
>125cc
120,927
6,440
127,367
Total
138,108
30,544
168,652

Source: IVM/KBA

 

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