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<b>Finland 2006:</b> Cycling Grows in Popularity

Sales & Trends

The bicycle market results for Finland in 2007 show a slight decrease in deliveries. However, reports from specialized retailers tell of growing interest and enthusiasm from consumers. The future of bicycle business seems rosy.

<b>Finland 2006:</b> Cycling Grows in Popularity

HELSINKI, Finland – The bicycle market results for Finland in 2007 show a slight decrease in deliveries. However, reports from specialized retailers tell of growing interest and enthusiasm from consumers. The future of bicycle business seems rosy.

The Bike Market in Finland (in units) 

 
2005
2006
2007 (estimated)
Production
60,000
50,000
30,000
Import
267,749
272,912
275,000
Export
9,119
18,026
17,000
Domestic deliveries
310,000
315,000
300,000

Source: Manufacturers and Custom statistics

2007 deliveries to retailers are expected to total some 300,000 bicycles; some 5 % less than the year before. More detailed analysis reveals some signs of new market developments that promise better business in the years ahead.

Categories

Specialized bicycle retailers and sporting goods retailers report that their sales has increased, not much in volume but in total turnover. The consumers are showing more interest in quality bikes and been ready to pay more for added features.

In the specialized retail channel, total sales of mountain bikes have been steady. MTBs no longer dominate the market. Ordinary city bikes and hybrids are the big sellers. Both are used for daily commuting and outdoor recreation. The quality and new features, such as hub dynamos, puncture resistant tires and 8-speed hubs are valued by consumers and explain the increase in average prices.

However, more important is the trend of consumers realizing the ecological and healthy benefits of cycling. According to industry estimates, consumer avareness of the benefits of cycling will benefit specialized retailers that work with durable cycles and offer long lasting service.

Production, distribution

The number of bikes produced in Finland has fallen by half. The traditional manufacturer Tunturi ceased production in Finland during 2006 and started to market Tunuri-branded bikes manufactured in an Accell-owned factory in Hungary.

The low price end of the market has obviously lost some sales overall. Moreover the channel has sold the bikes at a lower average price. The data from the low priced distribution channel is not as clear and accurate as it is from the speciality retailers.

Anyhow, the estimate based on the import statistics show the distribution has divided into two parts, that are developing in two different directions. The speciality channel is seeing higher average prices, while the mass market is still selling good quantities, but at cheaper prices.

Flourishing bicycle repair

Bicycle repair has lost its value over many years, as the business became less profitable and many repairers quit the business. Those who are still in business today, however, report flourishing demand. There are more consumers, who have no time, space, tools or skills to maintain their bikes in proper riding condition. Especially in springtime the repair shops have queues of bikes to be repaired.

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