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<b>Slovenia 2008:</b> Best-Ever Year

Sales & Trends

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia Last season was the best ever for the Slovenian cycling market in terms of value and the best in units after a record breaking 2004 season. But good statistics dont show the full story most of the year was solid, but a severe winter almost put a stop to sales at the end of 2008 and the first two months of 2009.

<b>Slovenia 2008:</b> Best-Ever Year

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – Last season was the best ever for the Slovenian cycling market in terms of value and the best in units after a record breaking 2004 season. But good statistics don’t show the full story – most of the year was solid, but a severe winter almost put a stop to sales at the end of 2008 and the first two months of 2009.

Top Five Slovenian Bike Suppliers (units; 2008 – 2007)

Taiwan 27,124 + 24%
Italy 22,085 + 21%
Cambodia 10,441 + 627%
Belgium 9,181 + 81%
Germany 7,318 + 20%

Source Eurostat

It is hard to point to a single major reason for the strong growth of the market in the past year. There were many reasons, but the main one has to be the general positive atmosphere among dealers, thanks to continued growth after the 2004 demise of the country’s only bicycle factory. That made the entry of many new brands possible. Another reason for growth is the fact that cycling in generally is nowadays more popular, as a sport, a healthy way of spending free time and from the view of commuting.

In unit terms the market grew 47 % from 2007 to 2008. With a value of 15.5 million euros, the market grew by 40 % in value terms. However, this is one indicator that doesn’t show the whole picture. Most of the dealers say they have in fact sold more units, but profits didn’t rise accordingly. Margins are getting smaller and smaller and costumers demand more discounts.

The market has also changed – all over Slovenia, but mostly in the capital city Ljubljana, many new stores were opened that make the competition even harder.

As in the past years Taiwan and Italy are main suppliers to Slovenian market. They both increased their share, Taiwan with 27,000 and Italy with 22,000 units. Back on the podium with over ten thousand units is Cambodia with even better imports than in 2006. Belgium and Germany follow strongly, while China remains unattractive for Slovenian distributors.

Mainly positive trends

Just over four thousand units came from there. As expected over half of the bicycles on the market originate from EU27 countries, especially now with Romania and Bulgaria in the Union. Next to 52 % share from EU27, Asia has a market share of over 47 % with almost no imports from the rest of the world. From the import side this means no big changes for 2008 and mostly positive trends. The only negative is a fall in the average unit price of 6 %.

It was an interesting year on the export front. The numbers are still insignificant in comparison to the whole European market, but we cannot ignore the huge rise from 2,554 units in 2007 to 8,276 units in 2008. These numbers include the bikes going through the country to other markets (for example to Hungary).

For now Cult is still the only important player, with an assembly operation in Logatec and total production of just above 2,000 units last year. 2008 was one of the best years for the bike market, but after a long winter and the effects of the global crisis spreading, all bike companies have become very cautious. Hopefully this year will not be too bad, but for sure it will not be as good as 2008.

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