News Article

Austrian Bike Sales Back on Track

Sales & Trends

VIENNA, Austria – Bike sales in Austria turned around last year, compared to a disappointing 2013. Due to a rainy summer Austrians bought 6.8% fewer bikes in 2013. Better conditions in 2014 boosted sales again with a 5.1% increase. Also in Austria, e-bikes were outperforming all other categories.

Austrian Bike Sales Back on Track

In Austria the annual sales of 400,000 new bicycles is considered to be THE benchmark. Below or above this total is the difference between a bad or a good year. Looking at sales in 2014 one could say it was a reasonable year, because with 401,300 bikes sold, the total was just over that mark.

Big plus in e-bike sales

The Austrian sporting goods industry association VSSÖ determined that just over 400,000 new bikes (including e-bikes) were sold in Austria in 2014. Since last year the country’s two-wheeler importers and manufacturers’ association Arge-Fahrrad – a subsidiary of Arge Zweirad – is operating under the roof of VSSÖ. This is caused by the fact that a big part of bicycle sales in Austria takes place at sporting goods retailers.

In its 2014 report VSSÖ stated that the 5.1% sales growth is thanked to, “Increases in almost each bicycle category.” However, e-bikes scored the biggest growth. This category shows continued sales increases since 2012 and again recorded a big jump in sales in 2014. Over 50,000 electric bikes were sold in Austria last year; up 16.3% compared to 2013. With that e-bikes now hold 12.5% market share in units, while in turnover this stake is estimated at over 35%.

Sales by category

With 148,900 units MTBs are still the number one category in hilly Austria; 2% up on the 2013 total. Trekking bike sales dropped 3% to 61,800 units with which this category is still the 2nd biggest. They are followed by offroad bikes (mountain bike-look-a-likes), with 50,900 units – a 1.2% rise in sales.

The total number of e-bikes sold is very close to the total of the offroad category. It is said that e-bikes will not only become bigger than offroad, but will eventually also overtake the Trekking bike total and become the 2nd biggest bike category in Austria.

“When looking at e-bikes we are no more talking about a trend. It’s a stable and steady growing market segment. What we see is further ongoing technical advances. This will keep the interest up and sales rising,” said Thalinger-Lange GM Fred Schierenbeck, speaking in his role as head of Arge-Fahrrad.

Average sales price and distribution channel

While IBD’s average sales price reached €990, the consumer paid on the average only €490 euro at the sporting goods channel. The difference lies in the fact that high-end e-bikes are mainly sold through IBDs, while the sporting goods sector is more focused on entry- to mid-level bike sales.

For 2015 Schierenbeck awaits an ongoing positive development. “Next to the growing e-bike sales the general urban mobility topics will keep bicycle sales alive as well,” Schierenbeck said. “Eye-catching designer- and city-bikes are not just transportation-only products but a lifestyle and status symbols. This is even pushing sales of the classic city bike category.

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