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<b>Austria 2009:</b> Rock Solid and Riding High

Sales & Trends

Unlike other industries the global crisis didnt have such a negative impact on the bicycle industry. Due to a rising environmental awareness and the increasing soft mobility trend the bike industry is backed by

<b>Austria 2009:</b> Rock Solid and Riding High

VIENNA, Austria – “Unlike other industries the global crisis didn’t have such a negative impact on the bicycle industry. Due to a rising environmental awareness and the increasing soft mobility trend the bike industry is backed by a strong growth trend,” says Helge Fellner, marketing manager at Austrian Shimano distributor Thalinger-Lange, in his role as spokesman of the Austria two-wheeler industry and importer association Arge-Zweirad.

Austrian Bicycle production, exports and imports 2009/2008 (in units)

 
2009
2008
2007
Production*
195,000
167,000
148,000**
– Exports
153,083
147,650
122,624**
+ Imports
392,915
415,216
385,670**
Domestic delivery
434,832
434,566
411,046**
+ Sold overstock
30,168
30,434
18,954**
Total bicycle sales
465,000
465,000
430,000

* production and total sales figures estimated by Arge-Zweirad
** E-bike sales not included
***All 2007 numbers except total bike sales differ from the ones published in BE 5/08 due to recalculations by Statistik Austria/Eurostat
Source: Arge Zweirad, Statistik Austria, Eurostat for import/export

While 2009 home bicycle production was up 16.8% and bicycle exports were up 3.8%, bicycle imports were down 5.8%. With total 2009 sales of 465,000 units, domestic deliveries reached the same total as the previous year. These figures however, don’t include e-Bike sales that gave an additional push to producers serving this booming segment. Arge-Zweirad estimates e-Bike sales for 2009 were around 10,000 units.

KTM dominates

According to the latest Austrian bicycle stats home production in 2009 rose an impressive 16.8% to 195,000 units. Market leader KTM  dominated, with total production for 2009 at approximately 174,000 units (+5.5% compared to 2008). Austria’s second-largest producer – custom-builder Simplon, reports total 2009 unit sales of 14,400 units, a drop of 9.7% on their 2008 total (15,959 units). With KTM alone capturing 89.2% of the home market and KTM and Simplon together accounting for 96.6% of home production there is not much space left for others.

Bicycle exports grew compared to the previous year – up 3.8% to 153,083 units, while imports dropped 5.8% to a total of 392,915 units. Nevertheless Austrian bike sales 2009 (alias domestic delivery) comes – as in the previous year, to an estimated 465,000 units. The Austrian market is still cruising at a high level. Note that the 2008 sales figures (465,000 units) was the highest number since 2000 (480,147 units).
According to Fellner, the gap between the widely used formula of “home production minus exports plus imports = domestic delivery” is due to sold overstock.

“The 30,168 units are overstock from the previous years and stuck in various distribution channels that have been sold in 2009.”

Fellner says entry-level sales were down due to the fact that the target group is facing serious budget cuts due to the global crisis. This also means mass merchant market bicycle sales are down. On the other hand the medium to high-priced ranges sold in Austria by the strong sporting goods chains and IBD’s are continuing their to enjoy strong sales.

“It’s not only the quality issue keeping these segment(s) alive but also the comfort factor, as well as the continuing trend for environmental-friendly mobility, and a rising awareness in health and wellness issues.”

Sales per category

Notably, demand for Mountain and Trekking bikes is up. Compared to the previous year both segments were able to increase market shares to almost one-third each (see chart 2). On the other hand City bike and the Kids/Juvenile bike market shares are shrinking. For 2009, the valuable Road segment was able to keep its small but stable 3.5% market share.

Arge-Zweirad notes the strongly growing e-Bike segment is not included in these figures. Nevertheless, according to Fellner and KTM’s marketing manager Stefan Limbrunner, pedelec sales in Austria are booming. KTM entered the market a couple of years ago, but is successfully debuting sportive MTB-pedelecs this season. Arge Zweirad estimates 2009 pedelec sales around 10,000 units.

Their prediction for 2010 forecasts additional growth, “For 2010 we expect minimum sales of 15,000 units. More and more pedelec suppliers are entering the Austrian market so there are more choices for high market demand.”

In addition to the rise in e-Bike sales, Arge-Zweirad is expecting overall a good 2010. “Order situation is good, the IBD market is in a great mood and the bicycle product itself very hip right now. We are definitely riding on this trend-wave.”

2009 New Bike Sales by category (in %)

 
2009
2008
MTB
33.5%
33%
Offroad*
13%
12%
Trekking
32%
30.5%
City
4%
5.5%
Racing/Road
3.5%
3.5%
Kids-juvenile
14%
15.5%

*Offroad = MTB-look-alike.
Source: Arge-Zweirad/Statistik Austria

 

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