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E-Bike Sales Growth Continues in Switzerland 

Sales & Trends 2829

SOLOTHURN, Switzerland – While other markets showed  drops in sales in 2016, the Swiss market proved to be solid. With 325,000 (+ 0.5%) virtually nearly the same number of bicycles were sold as in 2015. 75,665 of them (23.3%) were electric bikes. 

E-Bike Sales Growth Continues in Switzerland 
Popularity of e-MTBs, produced here, is fast growing in Switzerland. – Photo Peter Hummel

That the Swiss market also remained stable in 2016 is of course thanks to a still sale increasing of e-bikes. However, in 2016 that growth rate declined a bit; by 1% to 14% which still big of course.

E-MTBs fast growing

When looking behind that number, striking is that the popularity of e-MTBs is fast growing which comes at the expense of city/trekking models. E-MTB sales exploded with 36% to 20,761 units sold in 2016. The sales number of e-bikes in city/trekking outfit stood at 54,904; up 7% compared to 2015. In that year this e-bike category was up still with a big 16%. For the first time in years sales of speed pedelecs dropped in 2016; with 6.5%. But with 16,189 units sold speed e-bikes hold a 22% share in the total e-bike market which is the highest share worldwide. Currently the total number of e-bikes in Switzerland stands at over 400,00.

Sales per category

The growing e-MTB popularity comes also at the expense of regular mountainbikes. Sales dropped by 8.5% to 102,651 units. The MTB category with 27.5 inch wheel size showed a sales plus to 54,202 units which is triggered by the surprising over 10% decline of the 29 inch category (30,492 units sold). The 26 inch category continues its sales drop but still some 18,000 were sold; in particular by retail chains that offer many cheap 26 inch MTBs.

Viewing the continued e-bike sales growth it is striking that regular bicycles were able to maintain their market position also in 2016. Including kid bikes as well cargo and folding bikes total sales even upped by 6.8% to close to 92,000. Contrary to the global decline trend, surprisingly road bike sales remained stable. The Swiss market for road racing bikes is since years hovering around a sales total of some 15,000 annually.

Distribution channels

Looking at where the Swiss buy their bikes, retailers saw their market share drop by 2.6% in 2016 after 4 consecutive years of growth. However, with a 65.9% share in total sales they still hold a for Europe unprecedented leading position. The retailers’ share in the e-bike segment is even higher with 87%. Money-wise retailers hold an even bigger market share. In particular thanks to an e-bike average selling price that in 2016 stood at CHF 1,800  (€ 1,650). This is contributing to the fact that Switzerland still has a dense retailers network with 1,800 dealers

distributing some 250 bike brands. But with the arrival of new specialist chains such as m-Way, Bike World and Veloland and increasing online sales (not included in the Velosuisse statistics), experts are expecting an overdue market adjustment in the foreseeable future.

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