China Sees Launch of Hundreds of New Bike Brands
BEIJING, China – An increasing number of people in China are discovering that riding a bike could be fun and healthy ; especially for those in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. As market demand for bicycles is expanding rapidly an estimated 100 to 200 new brands rolled into the Chinese market in 2013 only.
“The market volume for bicycles, especially for sports and recreation, rose sharply last year, but it was still outpaced by production,” says Qiang Jianping, executive of Merida Bicycle (China) Co. in a China Daily report. “China’s domestic market reached the ceiling last year and we expect it will cool down in the next one to two years, to come back to normal levels again.”
“We see a market shakeout is currently taking place as many companies have to shut down due to lack of quality products and comprehensive after-sales services.”
According to reports of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology the country’s bicycle production increase by 1.9% to 24.17 million units between January and May this year. The production only dipped 0.1 % year-on-year to 5.15 million bicycles in May.
Shenzen’s bicycle export
In the meantime China’s bicycle industry is more and more concentrating on its home market as export volumes declined substantially in the past years. According to reports of the Shenzhen Bicycle Association, in 2013 Shenzen’s bicycle export declined by more than 30% to 3.5 million units while the export value dropped by 21.8% to 202 million euro.
“To a greater degree than the other two big bicycle manufacturing centers, the Yangtze River Delta area in East China and around Tianjin in North China, manufacturers in Shenzhen focused on making mid to high-end bicycles”, explains Wang Yipin, secretary-general of the Shenzhen Bicycle Association.
“Those days are over”
In its heydays Shenzen’s production capacity reached 10 million units, of which 80% were exported with a value of more than 598 million euros. “But those days are over”, says Wang Yipin. “In the first five months of this year, exports tumbled another 2% to 1.72 million units, and the value dipped 2.3% to 97 million euro compared to last year.
For the future, the Chinese bicycle industry relies more and more on their domestic market. According to industry officials like Wang Yipin, demand in the Chinese market for quality bicycles will keep rising despite fluctuations. “The growing awareness of health and environmental protection makes cycling an ideal sport for individuals or families.”