Germans Value Cycling More Than Ever
With over 13 billion annual turnover and 220.000 jobs, the bicycle industry and bicycle related branches in Germany are a significant – and growing – factor for the country’s economy. The results of a market survey showing the economic significance of the bike sector in
BERLIN, Germany – With over € 13 billion annual turnover and 220.000 jobs, the bicycle industry and bicycle related branches in Germany are a significant – and growing – factor for the country’s economy.
The results of a market survey showing the economic significance of the bike sector in Germany were presented last week by CEO of VSF e.V. and initiator of the VivaVelo Congress, Albert Herresthal. The VSF is the German association for bike dealers.
The figures present a positive development of the German bicycle industry and bicycle related businesses. The basis of this promising trend is formed with Germans that more than ever before cherish cycling as a way to get from A to B as well as a leisure and fitness activity. A continuously rising quality level as well as the average prices of bicycles sold are underpinning this trend.
In 2008 the average price of a regular bicycle was € 386 (according to the German industry association ZIV) when looking at all sales channels. In specialized retail shops (IBDs), however, the average price was € 500 and a clear increase of that figure is expected for the year 2009. In a survey by Sinus Sociovision that was published in August 2009 the participants said they would spend € 570 on average for a new bicycle.
An interesting fact is that most bicycles are sold through IBDs – 63% in units and 75% in turnover. The quality focused IBDs increased their turnover by 10.2 % in 2009 (and 9.0 % in 2008). This result proves that selling bicycles requires a lot of personal attention to single customers. Today, IBDs sell more bikes compared to other sales channels than they did back in the 90’s at the heydays of the Mountainbike boom. According to Federal Statistical Office, there were 5,600 bike outlets in Germany in 2007, 4,110 of which were regarded as qualified bicycle retail shops or IBDs.
The total annual turnover generated by bicycles in Germany reaches € 13.36 billion as the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology published in September 2009. This figure includes the turnover of bicycle-related tourism if the bicycle ride itself was the main reason for the tourist activities.
E-Bikes are currently the fastest growing segment in Germany. According to independent dealer association VSF, the market volume has doubled in two years and reached 140,000 units in 2009. This exceeds the number that ZIV originally predicted for the past year by 20,000 units. When we compare 140,000 e-Bikes to 4 million regular bicycles that are sold in Germany every year, this new two-wheel segment seems just very small. Obviously, the media reports on pedelecs and e-Bikes are much more attention-catching than the actual sales numbers.
The good news is that the relationship between regular bicycles and e-Bikes looks much different, when we look at the average price of electric bikes of around € 1,700 (compared to € 500+ of a regular bike) and the potential increase in turnover.