Cycling Industry Club Grows and Expands Advocacy Activities
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany – At Eurobike the Cycling Industry Club (CIC) presented its newest members. That took place at the yearly ‘Advocacy Summit’ that confirmed that collaboration between industry and advocacy is paying off and concluded that now is the time to join forces and lobby for a European wide cycling strategy that will boost sales around the continent.
Bidex and Herrmans are the new Cycling Industry Club members. Herrmans is well known throughout the industry as the Finland based maker of (plastic) components that improve the comfort, safety, design and experience of bicycles.
Bidex, which stands for bike data exchange, is a consortium of industry experts to help the bike retail industry to stay competitive in the times of fast growing internet shopping. With the two new members the Cycling Industry Club now counts a total of 46 members including the best and the biggest of the industry like all major bike companies in Europe (Accell, PON, Cycleurope, Giant, Trek, Tern, Eurosport DHS) as well as parts makers (Shimano, SRAM, Selle Royal, DT Swiss, Bosch, Schwalbe, Thun, Trelock and WTB).
European wide cycling strategy
This year’s Advocacy Summit confirmed that collaboration between industry and advocacy is paying off and concluded that now is the time to join forces and lobby for a European wide cycling strategy that will boost sales around the continent.
“By bringing together advocates and the industry we show the strength of cycling” said Manfred Neun, ECF President who opened the floor. Neun set a number of significant milestones on the way to Velo-city 2017 in Arnhem-Nijmegen, such as the upcoming Scientists for Cycling Colloquium in Aveiro supporting his thesis that cross-sector collaboration with academics are necessary for developing the market.
Advocacy and sales
“Does advocacy really mean sales? Yes it does and numbers prove it,” said Elina Baltatzi, ECF Communications and Outreach Officer. “ECF’s latest analysis of the Confederation European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI’s) market report shows that countries with the highest cycling modal share are also the ones with the highest average per capita expenditure on bicycles and accessories. This confirms what we have been saying for years: more people cycling more often means more sales”.
Baltatzi then went through the Cycling Industry Club’s activities, like the Leadership Programme, helping national and local advocacy organisations to get the best out of their actions.
“Since we joined the Leadership Programme, we have achieved so much, in Spain” said Ignacio Estelles, co-founder of Rotor Bike Components and former president of AMBE, the Spanish cycling industry umbrella. “In the last three years we managed to form an All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and we convinced politicians to agree on the importance of a National Cycling Plan, which could make certain infrastructure standards mandatory at all levels of governance. In addition, we have had a 15% increase in bicycle sales since the beginning of the Leadership Programme”.
EU Cycling Strategy
“Now we have another mission,” said Kevin Mayne, Director of Development at European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF). Mayne explained how the development of a European wide cycling strategy will boost sales and grow the market all around the continent. He drew a comparison with the car industry which is securing multiple times more public financing for e-cars than for e-bikes when e-bikes make up for a much more dynamic and healthy market than e-cars. Mayne asked the industry to come up with concrete ways in which the EU could help them sell more bikes. “You are now selling 1 million e-bikes per year which could be 5 million: what is stopping you?,” he asked.
The message was well received by the industry with Tony Grimaldi, President of Cycleurope and Chairman of the CIC Advisory Board calling his peers to step up and engage in the process and CONEBI raising the stakes even higher. “Why stop at 5 million e-bikes? Let’s learn from the car industry and lobby: together we are much stronger,” said CONEBI’s Manuel Marsilio who also mentioned that cycling is one of the very few sectors where industry and advocacy are united, and that gives us a great advantage to influence policy makers.
A good example of an area where cycling can further develop is Smart Mobility. Paul Stratta, Smarter Cycling Project Director at ECF, took the floor to present how cycling should claim its place in the new Smart Cities paradigm. Internet of Things (IoT), Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Predictive Data Analysis, Connected bicycles: Stratta explained how this is a market that will grow exponentially in the next few years. Cycling can and should be at the very centre of Smart Cities, with bike sharing systems becoming an integral part to public transport and connected bicycles communicating with the city infrastructure, providing and receiving information on their environment.
As the yearly catch-up meeting with CIC donors, the Advocacy Summit reassured them: thanks to their support, “the CIC managed to unlock European fundings for billions of euros and we are making strong policy impacts. Our Industry funded Observatory Fund tool has proved to be extremely useful to get the money spent. And we are also ready to go the extra mile: an EU Cycling Strategy could boost bicycle sales in Europe by €5 billion.”