All segments down in sales, except e-bikes
BERN, Switzerland – Even for the Swiss market, the sky was not the limit in 2012. Market volumes declined to the lowest level in ten years. The biggest growth came from the speed-pedelecs. Bicycle imports into Switzerland dropped by 15.5% in 2012. Less than 346,000 bicycle were imported, the lowest number since 2001.
This is the result from a survey held by the Swiss trade publication Cyclinfo in combination with the statistics of the Swiss federal customs agency. The double-digit decline didn’t turn into an outright crisis because the value of all imported bikes dropped by just 2.2%, to around CHF170 million (€140m).
The average value per imported bike increased from CHF425 (€349) to CHF492 (€404). At the same time, domestic production of bicycles without electric support decreased by 10.3%, to 31,750 units, as reported by Cyclinfo. Compared to 2011, domestic deliveries of bicycles (including e-bikes) dropped by 15% to 377,450 bikes.
Swiss Sales Statistics 2012
Source Velosuisse/Report h+h
Reasons for declining market
One of the main reasons for this drop originated a year earlier. In 2011 the Swiss bicycle industry suffered from the euro crisis, as the exchange rate with the Swiss franc appreciated. At the end of the 2011 season inventory levels at retailers and importers were still high above average. Thanks to pressure on the euro value many bicycle suppliers responded by adjusting their prices in 2012.
Industry association Velosuisse publishes its annual sales statistics based on reports from its members, as well as from supermarket chains. These annual reports diverge strongly with Cyclinfo’s publications. According to Velosuisse, total market volume was 348,600 units in 2012, a small decline of just 0.9% compared to the 2011 total. A detailed look at these figures shows that Swiss IBDs maintained their strong position with a market share of just over 66%.
The leading segment is still the MTB with 128,433 units, of which 13,439 were in the new 29er category. The e-bike market is still growing, but no longer with double-digit numbers. In 2012 e-bike sales grew by 6.7% to a total of 52,941 units. The biggest growth in e-bike sales was generated by speed-pedelecs, which are now included separately in the statistics. In 2012 a big 14,070 units were sold, an increase of 38.8 % compared to the 2011 number.