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<b>Slovania 2005:</b> Drastic Changes in Bike Market

Sales & Trends

MAARSSEN, The Netherlands – In 2004 Slovenia joined the EU, and the biggest local producer Elan Bikes (also known as Rog bikes) was at its peak, sales were getting better, generally it seemed that everybody was suddenly interested in cycling. In 2005 the situation in the bike market was less rosy. Elan bikes has changed […]

<b>Slovania 2005:</b> Drastic Changes in Bike Market

MAARSSEN, The Netherlands – In 2004 Slovenia joined the EU, and the biggest local producer Elan Bikes (also known as Rog bikes) was at its peak, sales were getting better, generally it seemed that everybody was suddenly interested in cycling. In 2005 the situation in the bike market was less rosy. Elan bikes has changed its name back to Rog. It went from bad to worse and collapsed.

Bicycle Imports from China into Slovenia (in units and €)

Year
Units
Total value in EUR
2000
3,882
381,212
2001
6,037
759,172
2002
23,735
2,626,077
2003
38,872
3,502,237
2004
69,905
5,620,778
2005
3,445
71,282

Bicycle Imports Slovenia (in units and €)

Year
Units
Value per unit in €
Total value in €
2001
6,037
759,172
7,421,004
2002
23,735
2,626,077
10,022,773
2003
38,872
3,502,237
10,598,235
2004
69,905
5,620,778
13,304,780
2005
3,445
71,282
9,406,404

Rog bikes

The downfall of Rog bikes is the main reason for drastic changes in the ‘05 figures. Various importers and distributors have imported about 84,000 units, which is a drastic fall from over 137,000 units in 2004. Over the past couple of years, the Slovenian market had consumed about 80,000 imported bicycles annually. Cutting down home production and sourcing from Asia, Elan/Rog over-imported, and (re-) exported a fair number of bikes. We can only conject that by figures provided by Elan – the official export agency never published those figures, because there was just one exporter; Elan. However, they have now released data which show that Slovenia has exported just over 20,000 bikes (value € 1.7 million) in 2005. Roughly we can say Rog has produced and exported slightly less than 1/3 of their nominal capacity over the past couple of years. For 2006 we can expect that numbers will go down close to zero – unless a miracle happens.

Chinese Imports in free Fall

Rog is not the only one in trouble. Some Chinese companies also saw their march onto the Slovenian market come to a halt. China already was the main supplier of bicycles with just over 50% market share in 2004. But the EU anti-dumping restrictions have resulted in a free-fall from 69,905 units in ‘04 to just 3,445 units (value € 71.282 ) last year! Imports from Taiwan have also fallen (by 32 %), but with almost 25 thousand units. Taiwan has now become the biggest bike supplier for Slovenia again. Italy is second, with a slight drop in units (14,521 units in 2005). Imports from other EU countries have risen noticeably from € 3,2 million to over € 4,6 million in 2005 (29,809 units).

Less bikes sold in hypermarkets

This change was to be expected. Right after traditional trade partners like Italy, Austria and Germany come Hungary and Bulgaria (3000 and 4000 units respectively), but Poland comes first in value, with 1686 units only, but with a value of € 4,58 million (average value € 272  per unit). The Filippines and Vietnam saw their import share in Slovenia rise in a big way. Imports of 80,000 bikes seems very little, but they are actually quite normal if you take Rog/Elan out of the equation. The import drop in units and the value increase per bike  € 96 to € 116,5 can also be attributed to the fact that hypermarkets sold less bicycles. With the high duties they didn’t import ultra cheap bikes anymore. in an overview, we’d say that figures are back to normal and this is what the Slovenian market looks like in a country with 2 million people and a 6-8 months long cycling season.

Source: SURS/Eurostat

PTWs in Slovenia: Booming Business

It seems that Slovenians like Powered Two-Wheelers (PTW) more and more, since the trend of rising motorcycle sales continues. The market is growing fast. As a matter of fact from 2003 (3,735 units), it almost doubled for 2004 (7,385 units) and again had about the same growth in 2005 with total sales of 10,792 units.

This means that the market has almost tripled over the last three years, which clearly shows that Slovenians are moving towards more practical means of transport, and luxury leisure transport. Of course – there are also speed freaks – 19% of sales go to over 500 cc machines. Japan is the biggest supplier with 42% market share. The over 500cc bikes sold that hold a 19% market share, represent with € 12.3 million over 66 % of the value of the total sales.

Best sellers are still mopeds and scooters under 50 cc. With 2,287 (45% in this class) units China is biggest foreign supplier with France, Taiwan and Italy following with 10-15 % shares in this class. Home producer Tomos has opened a new, modern production line and continues to be the best selling brand on the domestic market and the biggest exporter.

Main export market is still the Netherlands, where they managed to sell the same number of units – just over seven thousand per year, with 10,000 top, and a total value of € 3.57 million. Second biggest buyer of Slovenian mopeds is – surprisingly – the USA with 1.430 units in total value of € 810,000.

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