<b>Slovenia 2007: </b>Euro Has Positive Effect
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – A wind of change swept through all Slovenian companies after the adoption of the euro on January 1st 2007. Cycling firms were no exception – but the new currency brought positive effects. Price ranges went up and brands gained market share. The winter of 2006/07 was a disaster for Slovenian ski resorts, […]
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – A wind of change swept through all Slovenian companies after the adoption of the euro on January 1st 2007. Cycling firms were no exception – but the new currency brought positive effects. Price ranges went up and brands gained market share.
The winter of 2006/07 was a disaster for Slovenian ski resorts, but it was very friendly for the cycling industry. The sales season started in February and is still continuing due to another ‘green’ winter.
IBDs are very happy about their sales – even more so because it’s now easier to sell branded bikes. One of the country’s biggest distributors explained that this is due to the euro replacing the Slovenian Tolar. One euro is about 240 tolars, so the price difference between two bikes that was 10,000 or so in Tolars is now ‘only’ 40 or 50 euros. That makes a lot of difference psychologically, so customers are more easily convinced to buy a bike with a brand name or a higher price tag.
Average value up
That is also confirmed by the numbers – a drop of over 8 % in import volume from 2006 to 2007, but a rise in the value of imported bikes from € 10.26 million to 11 million. The average value went up 17 % to € 142 (values from customs office). Another factor was the lack of a big ‘cheap bicycle’ campaign in the last year at the big general retailers.
Together with the shift to higher value we also see a change in the origin of the bikes – now more bikes originate within the EU and fewer from Asia. In terms of units, the ratio between EU countries and Asia is 60:40, while all others have marginal quantities. In terms of value EU has an even bigger share – just under 70 % or 7.7 million euro.
Anti dumping duties
The shift towards the EU (or rather, away from China) has to do with antidumping duties and bigger production of low-end bikes in certain European countries. The Slovenian market seems to be getting immune to Chinese bikes after they dominated imports from 2002-04. Italy, as a neighboring country with good connections inside Slovenian companies, is traditionally a big supplier, while Taiwan is still in the lead with a 20 % increase in volume compared to 2006. In 2006 there was a surprisingly large volume of imports from Cambodia but that also ‘normalized’ in 2007 and Germany came in the top three – even with 15 % smaller quantities.
The biggest import trend is that bicycles now come from a larger number of countries and in smaller quantities, while Taiwan and Italy are still main suppliers. Overall consumption has gone down for 8 % to 77,660 units, which is still very close to the average for 2002 onwards.