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<b>Portugal 2005:</b> Bike Production Breaking All Records

Sales & Trends

MAARSSEN, The Netherlands – 2005 will go down in history as one of the best years for the production of bicycles in Portugal. And the figures for 2006 will reconfirm this huge growth. In plain figures; Portuguese bike production almost doubled; from 690,000 in 2004 to 1.2 million units in 2005 and the same figure […]

<b>Portugal 2005:</b> Bike Production Breaking All Records

MAARSSEN, The Netherlands – 2005 will go down in history as one of the best years for the production of bicycles in Portugal. And the figures for 2006 will reconfirm this huge growth. In plain figures; Portuguese bike production almost doubled; from 690,000 in 2004 to 1.2 million units in 2005 and the same figure is expected to be reached at the end of 2006.  

Portuguese Bicycle Market 2002-2006 (x1000 units)*

 
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Domestic production
583
580
690
1,200
1,200
Imports
73
81
72
65
70
Exports
361
370
494
980
980
Consumption
295
295
270
290
300

* (estim.)

Unfortunately, there’s also a downside to the big increase in domestic production. And that is that they are almost all low budget bikes to which the Portuguese are increasingly attracted. These bikes go for prices below the € 200 mark at the big Supermarkets or Chain stores. Higher priced bikes are almost all imported.

Export exploding

73.9% was the exact growth in 2005 bicycle production in Portugal. There were about half a million bikes more produced. No, they were not all ‘consumed’ by the Portuguese. In fact domestic deliveries only increased by 7.4% to 290,000 units. So, the big majority of the bikes produced in Portugal are exported. To be exact; 980,000 went abroad in 2005. Compared to the 2004 export total of 494,000 bikes, this comes down to a 98.3% growth in export!

The reason behind the exploding export? International brands that started to assemble bikes in Portugal and other OE production for chain stores or other retail organizations. In particular companies from Spain have set up shop in neighbouring Portugal. Agece, Orbea and BH already opened their facilities here some time ago, but they all increased their production last year. Two of the biggest Spanish players, BH and Orbea, produce in Portugal around 80.000 units each. Hadore, a company that started business in 2005 in Portugal, recently went bankrupt. However, they were one of the major contributors for the 2005 production growth figures. Hadore produced about 350.000 bikes.

Agece’s complete production is nowadays located in Portugal and in 2005 this Spanish company did almost 110,000 bikes. On the Portuguese brands there are Esmaltina with 80,000 bikes, Orbita with about 40,000, Fundador is estimated at 30,000, Sirla at 35,000 and Starciclo for about 25,000. There are also some smaller players like Iberciclo (7,500) and Cicloanadia (5,000).

One major player in Portugal has not been named yet, Vag, that has been in the active in Portugal for many years. In 2005 the company changed its strategy and is now aiming for the mid to higher end of the market at specialized dealers. Vag started advertising in bike magazines and is now present in bike shops with a range of mid to higher end priced bikes. Their production in 2005 reached about 60,000 units.

Last, but not least, one major international sports brand – Decathlon – invested more in 2005. They raised their production to 380,000 units. All these brands and companies contributed to the 74% increase in production to a total of 1.2 million units. And as said; export is the name of the game for this production. Only 24% of the production total stays in the country. Portuguese bike consumption increase to 290,000 units in 2005; an incredible figure if you take in mind that there are only 10 million habitants in the country and that cycling is mainly a hobby. By no means is cycling considered as a means of transportation in Portugal.

Import

According to local sources; bicycle imports in 2005 reached 65,000 units and are mainly medium to high end bikes. However, Eurostat figures show a different picture. The data bureau for the European Union reports that in 2005 some 173,000 bicycles were imported into Portugal.

About 2006; it is estimated that the figures will be at least similar to the ones of 2005. And some insiders even forecast that despite the Hadore bankruptcy, which represented 350,000 units in 2005, total 2006 production will remain at the same level. It is said that the Hadore production will be taken over by three Portuguese assemblers: Esmaltina, Sirla and Sangal. Also, Decathlon is expected to further increase its production in Portugal to about 400,000 units.

*Source: local sources

Portuguese PTWs Sales Going Down Again

In spite of being one of the European countries with the least rainy days and with lots of traffic jams; Powered Two-Wheelers (PTWs) aren’t yet one of the major means of transportation in Portugal. The comfort and in particular the status of driving a car is still outranking the scooter or motorcycle. Moreover, the country is facing an economical crisis that especially hits the low to medium income classes which make that the priority is on other vital products.

For the second consecutive year, sales of over 50cc PTWs are dropping. In 2005 11,232 motorcycles were sold, 2.9% less than in 2004. The forecast for the whole year of 2006 shows a similar picture. From January to August 2006 sales showed a drop of 2.1%.

Looking at what happened exactly in terms of sales per brand; 2005 showed major drops at the big players and big increases at smaller brands. Market leader Honda, dropped 9.1%, while sales at runner up Yamaha downed 13.3%. However, the biggest drops were faced by Aprilia (-55.4%), Peugeot (-78.7%), and Beta (-66.7%). On the positive side, Husqvarna had a wonderful 2005, growing from 7 units in 2004 to 109 in 2005. The newcomer Lifan also showed a big sales increase going from 2 units sold in 2004 to 22 in 2005. In the top 5, only Suzuki and BMW showed positive figures, plus 17.7% and 32.9% respectively.

The latest statistics from August 2006 show that Honda and Yamaha still occupy their top positions, but August became a hard month for them. Just when everybody in Portugal expected an increase in sales at all brands; the market leader and the number 2 suffered. But overall, 6.7% more motorcycles were sold this August, comparing to the same period in 2005. July ended to be the strongest month during the summer, with a total of 1,513 units sold, against 1,034 in August and 1,095 in June.

2006 marks an important change in the Portuguese PTWs sales statistics. From now on, scooters, motorcycles and quads with engine capacities of under 50cc are also in these statistics. This has to do with the fact that 50cc models are from January 1, 2006 on licensed in Portugal. Next to licenses a 50cc scooter or moped is allowed to be driven, with a special permit and a speed/power output limitation, with the age of 14. The normal age is 16, and with 18 you’ll get the right to drive two-wheelers with less than 34 hp. This new ‘14 years class’ registred in August 621 units, more than half of all ‘big’ motorcycles sales. This indicates that youngsters are on the move into the motorcycle world, and that others find it to be a good means of transportation in the cities.

One of the most prominent vehicles in Portugal is the Quad. Since it has been permitted to drive it with a normal car driver’s license, sales is rising almost every year. And 2006 will not be the exception. From January to late August, 4,053 over 50cc Quads were sold; 19.8% more than in the same period of 2005. Yamaha is market leader in the Quad sector claiming 19.3% of the market, and is followed by Suzuki with 17% and Honda with 12.3%. 50cc Quads are not that popular; only 14 units were sold in August 2006.

Units >50cc PTWs Sales in Portugal

2002
2003
2004
2005
2006 (Jan-Aug)
14,218
11,198
11,562
11,232
8,446

Top 10 sales units >50cc PTWs Portugal

Brand
Market share
Units
Honda
36.3%
4,076
Yamaha
25.3%
2,839
Suzuki
12.3%
1,381
Kawasaki
4.4%
494
BMW
4.2%
477
KTM
4.1%
465
Piaggio
3.7%
417
Harley-Davidson
1.4%
159
Husqvarna
1.0%
109
Ducati
0.8%
86

 

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