Poland’s Bike Sales On the Rise Again
WARSAW, Poland – According to the enthusiastic headlines of the business press, bicycles are a trendy product these days in Poland. Celebrities and hipsters, together with successful athletes, are contributing to an increased popularity of cycling in Poland. Manufacturing and sales are looking good.
According to the research carried out for the second time by the Polish Cycle Association (PSR), Poland manufactured 991,100 bicycles in 2014. This number is up 16% compared to the 2013 total. The biggest production increase took place in May 2014. In that month production stood at 106,000 units; 42% more than in the same month of 2013. Also, the autumn months of September, October and December production stood at a higher level compared to the same period in 2013. In December 2014 close to 25% more bikes were produced.
According to a recent economic study carried out by CONEBI, the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry Poland ranked third among EU bike producing nations. With the production total of 991,000 units Poland has an 8% share in the total European bike production. Only Italy and Germany have bigger shares. In 2011 Poland was the #5 bike producer in Europe. It leads to the conclusion that the country managed to strengthen its position.
Production in 2015 is sure to pass the one million unit mark. In particular as by the end of May the production total already stood at 548,000 bicycles; 12,2% more than in 2014. By the way, what stays below the radar of the official statistics is that some 100,000 bikes are produced by small manufacturers.
Poland’s bike export stood at 556,900 units in 2014. The country’s biggest export market is Germany and this export is growing; value-wise up close to €7 million in 2014. Poland’s bike export to Russia dropped significantly last year.
The 2014 import of bicycles stood at 431,500 units. That import had a 39% share of all bikes delivered to the various distribution channels in 2014. The bike import breakdown had no big surprises as, like in 2013, Poland’s main supplier was again Taiwan in 2014.
Last year some 1.2 million bikes were sold in Poland – 1,116,500 units to be precise. This is a significant increase, 15% more than in 2013. Six years ago Poland’s bike sales were much lower – at some 750,000 units only. The market is growing. Even at such a rate that, according to Kross (Polish bike market leader), its sales were bigger than its manufacturing capacity.
The public likes to buy city bikes (Dutch roadster lookalikes) and – still – mountain bikes. Polish streets with potholes, together with cycle-paths ending with a high curb are a natural environment for fat tire bikes.
The average price paid for a new bike increased. A couple years ago that price stood at some PLN 760 (€180). Today a new bike costs on average about 1,000 PLN (€235).
Currently most bikes (51% of all sales) are bought at IBDs, while 13% of the total bike sales takes place at all-sports shops; with Decathlon bikes and their innovative design being quite popular in big cities. Supermarkets, formerly the primary source for cheap bikes, downshifted to the low price positions.
Poland’s bicycle boom is also causing growth in the number of public bike sharing systems in the bigger cities of the country. Warsaw’s PBS Veturilo is considered one of the most notable bike sharing systems. It contributed to the cycling in the city claiming a 5% modal share according to the World Health Organization (WHO) numbers. It underlines how the development of a proper cycling infrastructure generates big bicycle traffic and shows the potential of bike mobility in urban areas and, eventually, in market growth.