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Bulgaria: Bike Factory for Europe

Sales & Trends

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Production capacity for bicycles has been expanded in Bulgaria since the country entered the European Union, which opened the lucrative EU markets to Bulgarian-made bikes.

Bulgaria: Bike Factory for Europe

Maxcom is one of the Bulgarian bike makers that seized this opportunity. Despite the fact that Maxcom was still a small player in the European bike market at the start of the new millennium; it has quickly made a name for itself. That is also expressed in the growth of the company that is owned by Maxim Mitkov.

Bulgaria -Bike Export in 2012

Country Units Value in Eur
1. Germany 222,012 37.7m
2. France 217,325 16m
3. Greece 68,353 4.8m
4. Belgium 59,941 5.8m
5. The Netherlands 33,165 3.6m
Total 751,661 85.96m

Source: Eurostat

In the years 2002 – 2006, production increased from 38,000 units to 218,000 bikes. Maxcom is producing under its own ‘Sprint’ brand, but is for the biggest part producing bikes on an OEM basis. Maxcom started building its new facility in 2006. It’s a large-scale construction because the factory covers over 27,000 m². Maxcom opened in mid-2007 and is currently producing about 500,000 units annually.

Biggest exporter

With half a million bicycles, Maxcom is by far the biggest exporter from Bulgaria and for the Balkan region – as the country exported a total of just over three quarters of a million bikes in 2012. Over 96% of total export volume went to the EU-28 countries. The total value of the 750,000 exported bikes reached close to € 86 million.

The Bulgarian bike makers exported most of their bikes to Germany and France. Both countries imported well over 200,000 units. Average value per unit remains low – just over €114, but is slowly growing.

Decrease in volume

Export statistics for Bulgaria for first half of the year show a decrease in volume; from 441,000 units in the first half of 2012, to 392,000 bikes in first half of 2013. The value of the exported bikes stayed at the same level – €49 million.

Bicycle imports into Bulgaria are low, since the country relies on their own factories. Just over 28,000 bikes were imported from China, 5,000 from India, and 2,500 from the rest of the world. The total import value reached just over € 7.5 million in 2012.

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