Dutch Market 2012 Shows Biggest Decline in Decades
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Economic hardship and low consumer confidence inevitably affected bicycle sales in the Netherlands last year. In 2012 the market declined by 13.2% to 1,039,000 units.
The official statistics of the Dutch industry organization RAI Association did not come as a surprise but still shocked a lot of people. The decline in revenue was almost equal to the drop in sales with a decrease of 14.2%. The average price of bicycles sold by IBDs showed only a small decline of -0.7% to € 954, – compared with 2011. Apparently consumers still rely on quality and are willing to spend money on a (electric) bicycle.
E-bike sales still growing
While the RAI Association reported a decline in sales of all bike categories, the e-bike is relatively still going strong. The total number of E-bikes sold increased to 171,000 and its market share grew 1.3%.
In revenue the e-bike outpaced the city bike and is now the largest category in Holland. At IBDs its revenue share stands now at 43%. The average price spent on an e-bike was € 1,821 in 2012. For this category specifically consumers rely on professionals and go to dealers for advice, service and maintenance.
Despite all this the overall market share of the Dutch IBDs declined by 2% to 67% in volume. The DIY market expanded their bicycle business with cheaper and trendier city bikes for commuting.
Market developments for the months ahead are very difficult to predict. When asked at the opening of the Dutch FietsVAK trade show earlier this month, René Takens, RAI Association chairman and Accell Group CEO, did not want to give a specific forecast for 2013. “Sales can be a little bit higher but also lower”, he said.
“The difficult economic situation does have its consequences for the bicycle sector, although the market volume in the Netherlands is still bigger than 1 million units. Cycling is such a common practice in the Netherlands that contrary to the bicycle sales, the parts and accessory revenues continue to grow. People tend to ride longer on their bike which results in more maintenance and repair.”