News Article

Swiss Surprise: Sales Drop in E-Bikes

Sales & Trends

SOLOTHURN, Switzerland – Poor spring weather lowered the sales figures in 2013. A total of 330,313 new bikes were sold, 5.3 % less than in 2012. Even electric bikes couldn’t escape the diminished Swiss consumer interest.

Swiss Surprise: Sales Drop in E-Bikes

The bad weather from March until June deflated the consumers desire to buy bikes. At first a sales drop in the double-digit range seemed inevitable for the whole of 2013. However, at last summer arrived. And the beautiful summer and fall months stimulated demand. But that was still not good enough to make up for the drop in sales in the first half of the year. What in the end remained was a single-digit decline of 5%.

Swiss Bicycle Sales 2013

Units +/- 2012
MTB 26” 98,889  -13.8 %
MTB 27.5 2,993  [new]
MTB 29” 23,479  +74.7 %
Cross 28” 12,468  -18.7 %
Road bikes 16,121 -1.4 %
Junior 20-24″ 32,527 -18.7 %
Trekking/City Bikes
City 28” 52,499 -1.3 %
City 26” 17,150 -16.5 %
Junior 20-24” 20,249 +14.6 %
Special bikes 4,536 +2.6 %
25 km/h 34,209 -12.0 %
45 km/ h 15,153 +7.7 %
Total 330,313 -5.3 %

Source: velosuisse / Report h+h

For city bikes the sales drop was limited to only 1.4%. At least 95,000 of these bikes with complete equipment (lights, fenders and chainguards were sold. There’s still a huge potential in this category.

Despite the fact that 2.2% less MTBs were sold; this category holds new perspectives for off-roaders with the new 29-ers as well as 27.5-inch models. Almost twice as many 29-er Mountainbikes were sold as in 2012 when the statistics for the first time recorded this type separately. A similar rapid growth is expected for the new 27.5-inch (650B) models.

Road race sales remained stable with a good 16,000 units. Since in Switzerland most road bikes are not impulse purchases but ordered prior to the season, the weather influence on this category was small.

2013 e-bikes sales in Switzerland can be typified with: the slow ones decelerated; the fast ones sped up. It could be expected that the continued growth in sales of e-bikes would not last forever; still it was a bit surprising  that already last year a small decline occurred for the first time since e-bikes started their march in Switzerland.

A total of 49,362 electric bicycles with maximum pedal assist speed up to 25 km/h were sold. With that this category is back to the level of 2011. It resulted in a decline of 12%. However, sales of speed pedelecs rose by 7.7%. It means that their share in total e-bike sales has increased in only one year from a quarter to one third.

This is a European wide lonely high! Overall, one in every seven bikes sold in Switzerland is nowadays an e-bike or a s-pedelec. Next to that over 250,000 e-bikes are currently riding on Swiss roads.

Due to this year’s magnificent spring weather which encouraged consumers to buy early, the Swiss industry is expecting a significant increase in bike sales again in 2014.

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