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Frank Bohle: ‘2016 Results Show Expected Pause in Sales Growth’

Sales & Trends 1411

REICHSHOF, Germany – Schwable tyres owner Ralf Bohle GmbH reported a small decrease in sales of 5.5% to 171 million euro in 2016. This result is in line with the bicycle market developments in Germany, as Bike Europe reported last Tuesday. For Frank Bohle, MD of Ralf Bohle, it was the “expected pause in sales growth.”

Frank Bohle: ‘2016 Results Show Expected Pause in Sales Growth’
“The last few months of the year were not enough to make up for the rainy first six months,” said Frank Bohle, MD of Ralf Bohle. – Photo Ralf Bolhe

“2016 sales did not go as well as in previous years as already announced last August,” said Frank Bohle. “The last few months of the year were not enough to make up for the rainy first six months. However, this was on the back of several strong growth spurts in previous years. In 2013 we generated a turnover of 144 million euro and it peaked in 2015 with 181 million euro.”

Respond more quickly on customer’s requests

“The pause in growth gives us time to catch our breath,” Bohle continues. “It pleased us that the Schwalbe innovations of the last few years are now directly available for retailers and end customers. As we worked on the very limits of our capacity and we had been unable to respond to customer requests as quickly as it would have liked. It was the downside of the success of many of our new products. Since last year our new plant in Vietnam played a part in significantly to improve our delivery capability.”

Market trends

Frank Bohle is looking forward to the new bicycle season with full confidence. “We see several new trends which should get more people interested in cycling. For me particularly sporty electric bikes as well as the new ‘gravel bikes’ are the two leading trends. Gravel bikes are as elegant as racing bikes, but more comfortable for the rider thanks to the wider tyres we can offer in many different options. They are giving new stimulus to the racing bike and are even redefining it.”

“The trend of expanding sales of sporty electric bikes, and e-MTBs in particular is not new in the market but its effect is growing rapidly.” Schwalbe’s managing director sees a growing interest from younger customers. “We see more and more cross-overs between the sports categories and good-looking e-bikes. That makes these e-bikes interesting for today’s youth scene, which previously tended to laugh at this category.”


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