<b>Poland 2009: </b>Dramatic Drops in Sales

Sales & Trends

WARSAW, Poland The Polish cycling industry sold 541,000 bikes in the first three quarters of 2009 and is on track for a 21% drop in turnover when fourth quarter figures are finalized. This dramatic drop mostly affected suppliers of low end bikes.

<b>Poland 2009: </b>Dramatic Drops in Sales

WARSAW, Poland – The Polish cycling industry sold 541,000 bikes in the first three quarters of 2009 and is on track for a 21% drop in turnover when fourth quarter figures are finalized. This dramatic drop mostly affected suppliers of low end bikes.

The Bike Market in Poland (in units)


* January – September
** Estimate
Sources: GUS, Ministry of Economy

2009 bike sales in Poland were hit double hard; not only by the financial crisis but also as a result of currency problems. The decline of the Polish zloty against the euro and the dollar had a direct effect on prices for bikes. Some importers were forced to significantly increase their prices; even over 20%. Prices of components for the aftermarket increased even more than bikes, parts prices went up by 20 to 30%.
The drop in low-end bike sales is also caused by the popularity of relatively cheap 50cc scooters bought as personal transportation vehicles in small towns and villages. The sales of these scooters increased in 2008 by 30%. This trend continued over to 2009.

Looking at the biggest suppliers of the Polish market, only Giant Polska managed to improve its results (about 5% in volume) and its turnover is said to have increased by 13%. Giant is currently the number 3 bike supplier in Poland. Akus-Romet and Kross take higher places but they are low-end suppliers that, comparing to 2008, recorded significant drops in their production and sales.

According to the Bureau of Statistics bike export from Poland in 2009 stood at 528,600 units; down 49.6% (!) on the total for 2008 when slightly over one million units were exported (1,048,000). The average value of the exported made in Poland bikes stood last year at US$ 168.90 (€ 123.70) per unit.

The Bureau of Statistics recorded a 2009 bike import into Poland of 307,400 units. The 2008 figure stood at 502,700 units which results in a 38.9% drop. The average value per bike was US$ 144.10 (€ 105.55).
All Polish bike manufacturers suffered double digit drops in production. According to the Ministery of Economy a total of 733,000 bikes were produced in Poland in 2009; this is down 324,000 units on the total of 2008 of 1,057,000. This represents a drop of 30.7%.

Bike use

Bike use in Poland, contrary to the trends in new bike sales, is increasing. At this moment it is hard to tell if this trend emerged due to congestion in the cities, or due to economic crisis forcing people to search for cheaper transportation modes.

Shops with secondhand bikes (imported mainly from Police or municipal auctions in Holland), are doing very well. Bike mechanics, working for the shops, have had their hands in the springtime and summer of 2009 – repairing bikes, upgrading older models, or reviving those recovered from cellars and attics.
Warsaw’ Traffic Survey, done in November, showed an increase from 1.6% to almost 2% of bike use (which is not a dramatic increase, but is still notable given November is a very hostile month for cycling in Poland).

Warsaw Barometer, a survey organised by City of Warsaw, showed bike share at about 6%. The difference in results emerges from a difference in the methodology, as well as from the sources. Warsaw Traffic Survey is done by observing streets, which combined with heavy car traffic and a lack of cycle infrastructure on those streets, does not reflect a real density of cycle traffic. Warsaw Barometer on the other hand, surveys citizens to gather their data.


Polish Bike Industry Association founded

LODZ, Poland – Representatives from numerous Polish bike companies have recently founded the ‘Polish Cycle Association’. According to Zbigniew Sosnowski, President of Kross, which is one of the biggest bike makers in Poland, the new association should use the experience of the Dutch and German bicycle business organisations; should focus on issues important for bike manufacturing and because of that, should not include importers and or dealers as members.

The Polish Cycle Association was officially founded at a meeting held last December, to which 27 Polish bike companies were invited. 26 representatives from these companies took part in the meeting, organized by Kross president Sosnowski and Jan Zasada, president of Zasada Rowery.

In his opening speech Zasada said that competition on the Polish bike market between manufacturers and importers is intensifying. Because of that, he said, the idea to apply for protection of the Polish bike makers emerged. Sosnowski added that it was not a coincidence that all the participants of the meeting mainly represented manufacturers.

After proposing the goals of the new association as well as an action plan for next six months, the participants voted in favour of founding the Polish Cycle Association which will be located in the city of Lodz.

At a further discussion on the goals of the association, it was agreed that it will lobby for the growth of Polish cycling and the Polish bike market, for the development of a bike infrastructure as well as actions towards a further increase of road safety for cyclists. The association will also collect and publish statistical information on the Polish bike market.

Monitoring the international markets as well as rules & regulations that apply to bicycles are also included as goals of the new association. The same goes for the development of new technologies and technical standards, contacts with government institutions and NGOs regarding the bike trade in Poland as well as the organisation of exhibitions, shows and events. Finally, the new association also has to establish a Polish bike trade website.

The 26 participants in the meeting elected as members of the Board Committee of the Polish Cycle Association: Jan Zasada (chairman), Zbigniew Sosnowski (vice chairman), Miłosz Kedracki, Krzysztof Dylewski and Piotr Tokarz as Board members.



Comment on this article