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<b>Czech Republic 2006:</b> Export Breaking Barriers

Sales & Trends

With most Czech families now owning a car, the bicycle must make an effort to win back lost ground. The Czech bike industry once was a lot bigger than now, most of it evaporated after the political changes of 1989. Todays cycling is mainly leisure, but the authorities go to efforts to stimulate commuting again

<b>Czech Republic 2006:</b> Export Breaking Barriers

Prague, Czech Republic – With most Czech families now owning a car, the bicycle must make an effort to win back lost ground. The Czech bike industry once was a lot bigger than now, most of it evaporated after the political changes of 1989. Today’s cycling is mainly leisure, but the authorities go to efforts to stimulate commuting again. 

Export markets

Export to
Value (in million)
Germany
€ 26,4
The Netherlands
€ 11
Slovania
€ 2,8

A major part of the Czech bike industry is in the hands of foreign companies. Home production, home consumption, export and import are all more or less in the same bracket. With € 45 million, the 2006 bicycle exports from the Czech Republic reached the highest level (financially) of the past 10 years.

Receivers of the exported products were 17 countries, mainly EU. Germany spent € 26.437 million on Czech bikes. Second were the Netherlands with € 11.047 million. The third was Slovakia with € 2.796 million worth of exported bikes. The situation for the industry is vulnerable, with only two markets receiving 80% of the Czech bike export. Around 25% of the total export figure consists of parts and accessories.

Bicycle import

Bicycle imports to the Czech Republic reached an amount of € 38.5 million, less than the record year 2004 (nearly € 47 million), but that was the year the Czech republic joined the EU, and bicycles from China could be re-exported to the old EU member states without anti-dumping duty.

For several years on row the nr. 1 bicycle importer to the Czech Republic had been Taiwan with 90.7% of the total import. It was followed by the direct import from China, which was 4.9%. Companies from 13 other countries imported a number of bicycles into the Czech Republic. Their overall share was 4.4%.

To the total statistics of the bicycle import it is necessary to figure in P & A, which makes out an approximate one third of the total bicycle import. According to the customs nomenclature of the harmonised system HS(4) 8712 other products than bicycles such as scooters or bicycle trailers, belong to the same group. To some extent, this fact influences the accuracy of the statistics. The figures in this report were provided by the Czech Bureau of Statistics.

Bicycle sales

The year 2006 was not tops in bicycle sales. The start of the season was late, with snow in many places until the end of April. In categories, mountainbikes sold best, followed by trekking bikes, children’s bikes, road race bikes and ‘special’ bikes (the remainder).

City bikes scored low, because all city bikes with a suspension fork were considered to be trekking bikes, hence that category scored unusually high. The average turnover in retail shops consisted of bicycle sales (55%), bicycle repairs (15%), accessories (15%) and bikewear (15%).

According to the qualified estimate of the individual bicycle dealers and from the statements of wholesalers, 370 – 390,000 bicycles were sold in 2006, on a population of 10.2 million.

Market trends

An important factor, which certainly influences the growth of home bicycle market, is the support of cycling by the regional authorities and municipality of the capital city of Prague, making use of financial programmes of the EU. This support is expressed in financing of cycling infrastructure, cycle paths, cycle maps, guides, etc.
Cycle commuting and other means of transport have been equalized.

In the Transportation Development Centre there is a department, which takes care not only of cycle transport, but also supervises the execution and development of the approved Strategy for Cycle Transport. This institution holds annual conferences about Cycle strategy in the Czech Republic with international participation. Public and professional acceptance of these conferences is good. The above effort contributes to the image of cycling as a means of a healthy and ecological transport. The result is actually a growing number of commuters to work or school.

Cycle tourism increases, including mass events, such as cross-country and road marathons, orientation competitions, etc. Apart from this form of cycle tourism, the number of tourist circuits around cities, monuments and sites of interest increases. For the year 2007 Prague will invest € 1.35 million in cycle infrastructure, hoping that good cycling infrastructure will support Prague’s candidacy for the 2016 or 2020 Olympics.

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