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Switch in Sourcing: from Asia to Eastern Europe?

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LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg (Nov 1) – The enlargement of the EU by May 1, 2004 with 10 new member states has had big consequences for the European bike market. What happened right after the access of the new member states – mainly Eastern European countries – is that the 15 ‘old’ EU countries started to import […]

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg (Nov 1) – The enlargement of the EU by May 1, 2004 with 10 new member states has had big consequences for the European bike market. What happened right after the access of the new member states – mainly Eastern European countries – is that the 15 ‘old’ EU countries started to import more bikes from them. And with the free access into the entire EU market for the products made in the new member states; they have halted the ever-growing import of bicycles from Asia!
The 2004 figures from the EU customs data bureau Eurostat, make it very obvious that Eastern Europe is developing into a serious supplier of bikes. Almost 40% of the total bike import into the EU-25 now stems from European countries – just a year ago that figure was 10% lower.
The 25 EU countries imported a grand total of almost 16 million bicycles. Around 1,9 million more than in 2003, which constitutes a rise of over 14%. Within these overall figures, the growth of imports from other EU countries is clear. The 25 member states imported a total of 6,2 million bikes from each other. In 2003 the figure was 4,4 million units – a growth of 42,5%.
Remarkable is also the fact that price obviously was not the issue when deciding to source from either Asia or Europe. The average price of an imported bike from Asia was € 67,16 in 2004 – a bike imported from Eastern Europe costs € 119,90: almost 78% more expensive! It seems that producing ‘close to market’ outweighs the huge price difference.
A complete report on the EU-25 bike imports, production and consumption is in Bike Europe’s November edition; publication date November 18, 2005.

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