Austrian E-Bike Market Continues to Expand
VIENNA, Austria – Like in Germany sales of electric bicycles continued to grow in an Austrian market that suffered from bad spring weather conditions last year. Overall Austrian bicycle sales dropped – compared with 2012 – by 7% to a total of approximately 382,000 units.
The Austrian bike sales statistics are no longer provided by the country’s two-wheeler importers and manufacturers’ association Arge Zweirad. According to Thalinger Lange GM Frank Schierenbeck and current Arge Fahrrad (a subsidiary of Arge Zweirad) spokesman: “We came to the conclusion that our interests are better represented by VSSÖ.”
This is Austria’s sporting goods association. VSSÖ’s PR manager Alexander Raffeiner explains that this switch is made because: “About half of the total number of bicycles sold in Austria’s are handled by sporting goods retailers. Next to that 11.5% of the 2.6 billion euro sporting goods sales were made with bicycles and bicycle products in 2013,” says Raffeiner.
Value wise the 382,000 sold bicycles in Austria (through all distribution channels) stood at 298 million euro, estimates VSSÖ. Unfortunately this number can’t be compared with previous figures as the formerly provided statistics proofed to be not that reliable. Due to the switch to VSSÖ also both bicycle import and export figures for 2013 were not available at the time of writing.
According to the VSSÖ data the numbers of sold bicycles dropped in 2013, but value wise stayed stable or even increased somewhat. According to VSSÖ president Gernot Kellermayr: “This is the result of the high average sales price of e-bikes.” He estimates the average sales price of an electric bike in Austria to stand at about 2,000 euro.
Talking about e-bikes; according to VSSÖ their 2013 market share is estimated at 11.3%. In 2012 it stood at 10.0%. “Currently each 10th bike sold in Austrian market is an e-bike,” noted Fred Schierenbeck.
The Arge Fahrrad spokesman sees increased potential for electric bicycles as the image is shifting from a product for seniors to a cool mobility tool loved by everyone. There’s however one downfall to the e-bike success and that’s in the fact that the Trekking bike segment which used to be a top seller in Austria, is harmed by the increased popularity of e-bikes.
Next to e-bikes there were only two other categories that showed an increase in sales in 2013 in Austria; the Mountainbike and the Road bike categories. Both involve high-end bikes which makes them really important for the IBD distribution channel. Next to that, with a 38.2% market share Mountainbikes remain the by far leading category in Austria.
Last year’s the new 27.5 inch wheel hype boosted sales as well as the still ongoing interest in 29ers. Both new wheel sizes blew new life into the off-road segment. This resulted in a 10.7% growth in market share compared to 2012 to a total of 38.3%.
The market share of Road race bikes was up a little; from 4% in 2012 to 4.2% in 2013. Trekking downed a bit; from 17% to 16.7%. The same happened to City bikes; from 6 to 5%. Kid bikes dropped harder; from a 13.8% market share in 2012 to 10.4% in 2013. Offroad (mtb styled city bikes) dropped from a 13.7% market share to 13.2%.
Jump in average price
Interesting is also to look on the development of the average sales price for bikes being sold in Austria. VSSÖ is able to divide this in IBDs and sporting goods retailers’ sales prices. According to their stats the overall average sales price for bikes sold at IBDs stood at 980 euro.
This is a big 25.6% higher compared to the average sales price of 780 euro that overall was reached on the Austrian market. Compared to the average sales price of bikes being sold at sporting goods retailers it’s even much higher; an impressive 71.9% higher as sporting goods retailers sell bikes on average for 570 euro.
What this all boils down to is that Austria’s sporting goods retailers focus on entry level bikes. Their retail organizations like Intersport offer some well-known brands like Nakamura. The average sales prices also reflect that IBD’s are the ones concentrating on the high-end premium products. And they do that right as these high end bikes with electric bicycles, Mountainbikes and Road bikes showed growth in 2013.
Looking at the big players on the Austrian market; KTM Fahrrad is – before Simplon – by far Austria’s largest bicycle producer. Last year KTM produced and sold 184,000 bikes. 66.9% of them (123,000 units) were exported. In 2013 KTM Fahrrad’s largest export market was Germany (75,000 units) followed by its home market (61,000 units) and Italy (6,500 units).