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<b>Denmark 2006:</b> Sales Breaking Barriers

Sales & Trends

The similarities between Denmark and Holland are striking. In both countries, bike use is very high for shopping trips, taking the kids to school, commuting or touring the countryside. With such widespread bike use, bike sales are flourishing. While bike sales fell in most other EU countries in 2006, Denmark and Holland saw sales growth – in Denmark sales even exceeded the important half-million-unit mark

<b>Denmark 2006:</b> Sales Breaking Barriers

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The similarities between Denmark and Holland are striking. In both countries, bike use is very high for shopping trips, taking the kids to school, commuting or touring the countryside. With such widespread bike use, bike sales are flourishing.

While bike sales fell in most other EU countries in 2006, Denmark and Holland saw sales growth – in Denmark sales even exceeded the important half-million-unit mark.

The Bike Market in Denmark (in units)

 
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Production
123,765
127,661
143,070
143,066
114,270
Import
*454,716
approx.
380,000
*502,833
approx.
437,000
*577,503
approx.
428,000
*553,680
approx.
455,000
*636,518 approx. 470,000
Export
51,559
79,705
86,223
98,423
56,639
Domestic
consumption
*526,922
approx.
450,000
*550,789
approx.
485,000
*634,350
   approx.
484,847
*598,863
approx.
499,643
*691,149 approx. 524,631

Source: Danske Cykelhandlere/Danish Statistical Bureau

* The import and domestic consumption figures from the Danish Statistical Bureau are incorrect. Danske Cykelhandlere approx. figures are estimates.

Bike Europe’s report last year on the Danish bike market noted that despite the rock steady characteristics of this market, sales of new bicycles were slowly but surely approaching the half million level. One year on, that number has been outstripped by a significant margin.

 

Domestic deliveries

Exactly 524,631 new bikes were sold last year in Denmark; up about 25,000 units compared to 2005, representing an increase of 5%. These figures come from Erik Odderschede, director of the Danish association for bike dealers ‘Danske Cykelhandlere’. As in all Bike Europe Market Reports, the term ‘bike sales’ refers to domestic deliveries to dealers and other distribution channels.

The official figure, from the Danish Statistical Bureau, presents a much higher number of total sales. It claims a total of close to 700,000 new bikes were sold last year. That’s a huge number, especially when looking at the population of Denmark, which stands at about 5.5 million. It would mean that one out of every eight Danes buys a new bicycle every year.

Comparing the 2006 sales figure with the one for 2005, the Danish Statistical Bureau calculates growth of an optimistic 15.4%. Too optimistic, according to the bike dealers association ‘Danske Cykelhandlere’, which says its estimate of total bike sales in 2006 is more realistic.

Extensive bike use

The 5% increase in Danish sales also makes clear the effect of extensive bike use on the market. In the Netherlands, the other EU member state where daily bike use is widespread, sales in 2006 were up by 7% in units and 11% in turnover. In almost every other EU country, 2006 bike sales dropped due to a wet and cold spring, the football World Championships and a sluggish economy.

In Europe’s biggest bike market, Germany, sales dropped 6.3% in 2006: a stark contrast to the increases recorded in Denmark and Holland. As in Holland, Danish bike dealers account for the majority of sales. But while Dutch dealers make up over 85% of all sales, the dealer market share in Denmark is much lower. However, specialist bike shops gained market share in 2006.

The Danish bicycle suppliers and ‘Danske Cykelhandlere’ estimate the IBDs market share to have grown from 57% in 2005 to 60% last year. There was a notable drop in Danish bike production last year. About 30,000 fewer bikes were made by the only big bike maker in Denmark, Kildemoes Cykelfabrik A/S; a subsidiary of Cycleurope AB. Only about 115,000 bicycles came from the Kildemoes assembly line. The decrease in production is related to the big drop in exports shown in the 2006 figures for the Danish bike market.

Contrasting figures

Like the sales figures, the official statistics for bicycle imports in 2006 do not reflect the reality, according to the Danish association for bike dealers. The official figures from the Danish Statistical Bureau show striking growth of 15% in the number of imported bicycles (coming from other European countries as well as coming from countries outside the EU).  

Imports are said to have increased from about 550,000 in 2005 to 635,000 in 2006. It’s unclear what this official figure is based on. Statistics from Eurostat (the EU data bureau that gets its numbers from custom documents) indicate that the Danish Statistical Bureau figures are about 70,000 units off the mark.  

According to Eurostat, Denmark imported about 380,000 bikes from countries outside the European Union in 2006, with another 188,000 bicycles imported from other EU member states: a total of 568,488 units. According to ’Danske Cykelhandlere’, the Eurostat figures are also incorrect. The Danish dealer association estimates imports at 470,000 units, up 3.3% on the 2005 number.

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