Bulgaria: Europe Wants More and More Bulgarian Bicycles
SOFIA, Bulgaria – The Bulgarian bicycle industry is using all of its USP’s and is increasing its power in the European market. Export has grown by 6.7% in 2015. This year, in the first eight months Bulgarian exports stood at about the same level as in 2015. The local market is also developing!
Germany has developed strong ties with Bulgaria and impressive numbers confirm that. The biggest bicycle market in Europe imported close to 280,000 bicycles in first eight months of 2016 alone. France is second placed in the ranking of most important markets for Bulgarian companies. Close to 95,000 bicycles went there in the first eight months of 2016. The list continues with high numbers for practically every big EU market. The 2015 total export number stood at 873,000 units. This was up 6.7% over the 2014 total. Figures for the period from January to August 2016 show a 1.3% decrease in export volume. However, the value of the trade has grown significantly; by 12.6% and totaled €104.65 million. Average value of an exported Bulgarian-made bike also went up; by 10.8% in 2015 and is continuing to grow in 2016.
Surprisingly there’s almost no export of e-bikes from Bulgaria. It means that Europe is depending heavily on Asian suppliers and that the Bulgarian bike makers were not able to offer a better product at a better price yet. E-bike import is negligible. One source suggests that Bulgarians would rather buy cheaper e-bike conversion kits. This makes perfect sense as the average income in the country is low.
Bulgaria Bicycle Export (in units and euro)
|Average value per unit (€)||146.97||132.64||121.89|
Domestic sales of bicycles are on the rise thanks to government investments in bicycle infrastructure and increased traffic congestion in the cities. Bulgaria imports less and less bicycles. In 2015 it dropped to just over 30,000. In January-August 2016 imports again decreased; by 19%. Mountain bikes and city bikes prevail on the domestic market where lots of sales are done through online retailers and websites with second-hand bicycles; in particular for high-end sports bikes.
The Bulgarian bicycle industry is nowadays benefitting from Europe’s need for local sourcing in order to shorten lead times; supply lines, and with that financial risks. Something that will not disaapear overnight. On the contrary; it’s expected to grow in the next years.