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Danish E-bikes Continue to Grow in Declining Market

Sales & Trends 2898

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – In 2015 the Danish bicycle market still showed a positive result. This year however, sales are declining, bringing the Danish market back to 2014 levels. But e-bikes are the shining star with increasing sales.

Danish E-bikes Continue to Grow in Declining Market
Coh&Co in Copenhagen is one of the small-scaled production companies. – Photo Torben Finn Laursen

Despite Denmark’s pioneering reputation as a cycling nation and the fact that the country is back on track with a small economic growth, this is not yet being reflected in the sales results for the Danish bicycle sector as a whole. According to the latest figures from dealer/industry association ‘Danske Cykelhandlere’, the volume of bicycle sales for 2016 will finish at about 456,000 units; the same as in 2014, after modest growth in 2015.

Double digit decline

According to the association’s sales statistics the total number of bicycles sold drops from 518,500 in 2015 to 455,944 this year. This is a decrease of 14%. The import of bicycles into Denmark shows a similar drop – over 13%. The (small) number of exported bicycles was up by approximately 2%.

Viewing bicycle sales by category; the classic Dutch city bike is up a bit, by 2%. However, the overall City Bike category is down with 3%. Roadbikes keeps decreasing also, falling 3% this year. The mountain bike segment shows a small 1% increase. The market shares of Trekking and kids remain unchanged.

E-bike market share at 9%

The 2016 record for electric bicycles shows a different picture. Sales continues to grow with an increase of just over 3%. The 2016 market share for e-bikes in Denmark stands at 9%. This gives Denmark a fourth place in the European ranking of countries where electric bicycles are the most popular; after the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany (Source: ECF).

Small-scaled production of special bicycles

The Danish traditional dealers and wholesalers are facing increased competition as well as price erosion. Also the market for traditional types of bicycles is stagnant. Despite these trends there’s a relatively high demand for more individualized bicycles. This is stimulating new initiatives for small-scaled production focused on special bicycles like cargo bikes, folding bikes, wooden bikes and bikes for disabled people.

What stands for all these products is that they are not suited for mass production and therefore more to be produced in a country like Denmark with high-labour costs. The new entrepreneurs behind these products have a global approach with great sense of viral marketing promoting the product as Scandinavian Design with a Danish touch.

Denmark: Market Share by Category

  • Classic (Dutch) Bicycle: 22%
  • City Bikes: 31%
  • MTB: 20 %
  • Racing Bikes: 7 %
  • Trekking Bikes: 2.5%
  • Kid Bikes: 8 %
  • E-bikes: 9 %
  • Other: 0.5 %
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