Trends of Bicycle Market
According to Eurostat, the European Union is the world’s largest bicycle consumer market. In 2017, the number of imported bicycles was 6.8 million. However, based on the development of the past ten years, the number of imported bicycles to the EU in 2008 was 9.5 million. It has dropped by about 30% in ten years. The average unit price per unit was between 166 and 168 euros in previous years, but in 2017 it dropped by nearly 8% to 156 euros.
Reasons for general bicycle production and sales decline:
Observing the countries that export general bicycles to the European Union, we can find that Taiwan has been the EU's largest bicycle supplier for the past two decades, but Cambodia has now surpassed Taiwan. Taiwan exported a total of 1.28 million bicycles to the EU in 2017, a 20% drop from the total in 2016. Compared with a decade ago, Taiwan’s total number of bicycle exports to the European Union reached 3.5 million in 2008, a 60% drop.
The reason why Cambodia has risen to the EU’s largest bicycle supplier is that it benefits from the EU’s Generalized Preferential Tariff System (GSP) countries (except Cambodia, the Philippines, and Bangladesh), and most of the manufacturers are Taiwanese companies that set up factories there. Also, the focus of the bicycle industry is shifting to electric bicycles. Taiwan’s exports of electric bicycles to Europe have tripled in the past three years. In contrast, although electric bicycles are not only profitable but also a more popular product, the export volume (130,000) in 2017 is still far less than that of ordinary bicycles.
Although mainland China was levied 48.5% anti-dumping duties and 14% import duties, the number of ordinary bicycles exported to the EU increased by 54% in 2017. In the past years, it was between 350,000 and 400,000 vehicles, but in 2017 it jumped to 635,000 vehicles. The EU is still uncertain about the reasons for this growth, but based on the results of visits to bicycle manufacturers in Taiwan, it can be inferred that China still maintains a considerable advantage in manufacturing costs and has caught up with Taiwan in terms of production quality.
In 2017, the number of electric bicycles sold in the EU market exceeded 2 million, an increase of 21%. Regarding the country, the German market has sales of up to 720,000 vehicles (a growth of 19%), the Netherlands sales of 294,000 vehicles (a growth of 9%), France 200,000 vehicles (a growth of 50%), and Italy 155,000 vehicles ( 25% growth).
The EU’s announcement on May 3 this year to implement import registration for China’s electric bicycles, the EU has imposed a 27.5% to 83.6% temporary anti-dumping duty on land electric bicycles from July 19 onwards. Besides, the US-China trade war has escalated and the United States announced further China’s additional tariff list plans to impose a 10% tariff on about 200 billion US dollars imported from China. The latest list also covers the bicycle industry, which will greatly weaken China's status as a major bicycle supplier. To achieve a balance between supply and demand, the EU will actively look for manufacturers in Europe and Asia. According to Eurostat statistics, Taiwan was named Europe's second-largest supplier of electric bicycles in 2017, with an import volume of 126,000 units, three times the number of electric bicycles exported to Europe in 2015.
Current status of the German bicycle market
Germany's bicycle imports in 2017 were 3.29 million (+4.1%; 2.65 million general bicycles; 640,000 electric bicycles). Among them, in terms of general bicycles, Cambodia ranks first (23%), followed by Poland (13%), Bulgaria (11%), the Netherlands (6%), and Taiwan (6%).
In terms of electric bicycles, Hungary ranks first among importing countries (22%), followed by Mainland China (16%), Vietnam (16%), Romania (11%) and the Netherlands (9%). Taiwan ranks eighth, accounting for 5%.
Germany’s bicycle exports in 2017 were 1.16 million (+0.8%; 870,000 general bicycles; 290,000 electric bicycles). Among them, in terms of general bicycles, the Netherlands ranks first (28%), followed by Austria (12%), France (7%), Switzerland (6%), and Poland (5%).
In terms of electric bicycles, the Netherlands ranks first (24%), followed by France (16%), Austria (15%), Switzerland (9%), and Italy (8%).
Production and overall sales of the bicycle industry
According to the Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV) report, Germany’s bicycle production in 2017 was 1.73 million (regular bicycles 1.26 million; electric bicycles 470,000). The sales volume is approximately 3.85 million (-5%), of which 3.13 million are general bicycles and 720,000 are electric bicycles. Total sales amounted to 2.69 billion euros (+3.2%). Including the sales of spare parts, total revenue in 2017 amounted to approximately EUR 5.4 billion. The average price of a bicycle (including electric bicycles) is 698 Euros (+8.6%).
In terms of electric bicycles, 720,000 electric bicycles were sold in Germany in 2017, and the total sales, therefore, increased significantly by 19%. The average price of an electric bicycle is about 2,300 euros. In other words, one out of every five bicycles sold in Germany is an electric bicycle. In 2017, Germany exported 291,000 electric bicycles, an increase of 25% over 2016. Electric bicycles are currently not only a popular mobile tool in Germany but also popular sports and leisure activities. According to the local travel mileage, about 50% of the journey is less than 5 kilometers, and 25% is less than 2 kilo meters. In choosing these short-distance vehicles, it will be easily replaced by electric bicycles. According to the German Bicycle Industry Association, the total sales volume will reach 800,000 to 900,000 units by the end of 2018.
At present, about 99% of the electric bicycles sold in Germany are models with 250 watts/25 kilometers per hour, and the remaining 1% are high-speed electric-assisted bicycles (speed pedelecs), that is, models with a speed of 45 kilo meters per hour. Type certification and applicable safety helmet and insurance coverage. Among the 99% of sales types, e-City bikes accounted for 38.5% of total sales, e-Trekking bikes accounted for 35.5%, and electric mountain bikes (e-MTB) accounted for 21.5%. Electric cargo bikes (e-Cargo bike) accounted for 3%.
The boom of electric bicycles is not only because technological innovations ensure a high demand for German bicycle-related products. For example, the key components with digital connection are the mobility of bicycles and electric bicycles (such as navigation systems and anti-theft mechanisms) and riding training (For example, through functional diagnosis and ride monitoring) has brought huge business opportunities. Also, innovative business models including leasing and logistics solutions have further promoted the rapid popularity of electric bicycles.
Bicycle industry trends
The Eurobike exhibition launched the E-Mobility Solutions pavilion. It can be observed that the focus of the exhibition is on the double e trend of bicycles (electricity, electronic), from driving systems and battery technology to a wireless connection and digital new mobile transportation solutions. Let visitors get a glimpse of the future of bicycles. In this regard, electric bicycle anti-theft insurance and roadside rescue services have also been initiated.
Trend 1: Cargo bikes and family bikes
The conference report pointed out that more than half of the private and commercial delivery of goods in cities can be transferred to electric cargo bikes (e-cargo bikes), as long as one of every 1,000 city goods delivery can be transferred to bicycles. It will reduce more than 37,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Environmental protection is not the only driving factor for European logistics providers to adopt electric cargo bicycles. In some cases, the load capacity is as high as 150 kg. The performance of cargo bicycles is only slightly lower than that of similar traditional power vehicles, but it takes up less space. More mobility in urban traffic. This year, in the E-mobility display area, more than 30 professional manufacturers displayed their new products in this field.
Further proof of the rise of cargo bicycles is the research project "Taking the load off cities" conducted by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). It provides private companies and public institutions across Germany with testing 150 cargo bikes for commercial use. The testing includes 23 different types-from pizza delivery bikes to large heavy-duty transport electric bikes, more than half of the types are in Eurobike on display.
The Canadian bicycle manufacturer provides a particularly clever solution: with a simple operation, the family bicycle can be turned into a stroller. The multi-functional Muli bicycle of the German startup company has also won multiple awards. Its foldable basket can hold 154 pounds. It can easily hold a child seat, beer box, or shopping basket. Larger cargo bikes can even transport trash cans or serve as service stations for merchants or nursing.
Trend 2: Customized bicycles
Creating perfect customized bicycles for customers is the greatest added value that physical and online stores can provide. For example, the Smartfit system, which provides innovative technology, can confirm the most suitable sitting posture and size for the rider through body scanning, and select the perfect customized bicycle from a database of more than 100 bicycle brands. This kind of online tool is very suitable for use in e-commerce, and it helps riders to quickly find a suitable bicycle during the sales cycle without the need for professional knowledge in measurement and accessories.
Trend 3: Digital wearable devices and accessories
Electric bicycles are not only becoming more and more popular among young people and old people, but the series of electric bicycle accessories is also growing. Innovative products such as safety helmets that integrate Bluetooth systems, speakers, and microphones, make it possible for electric bicycle riders to chat and control the navigation system during the journey. Up to four people can connect and chat through the intercom system. The range can reach 900 meters. You can also use the camera function to broadcast the rider's electric bike tour on social media.
Another example is the Tyrewiz sensor of the American company Quarq, which can be rotated to the air nozzle by simple operation, and information about tire pressure can be obtained through the smartphone APP. A Norwegian startup company also offers another exciting development: a pair of sunglasses with integrated rearview mirror-TriEye. Especially when you are with a child, you don't need to turn around when riding, and the rear perspective is clear at a glance.
Trend 4: Continued electrification
Electric mountain bikes have already become the mainstream, and this year it can be seen that electrification is hitting the road bike, the last remaining fortress without a drive system in the bicycle field. More and more electrification trends have entered the road car, mainstream manufacturers like Focus, Pinarello, Cube, and Bianchi all use the new detachable Fazua motor (including the battery only over 3 kg) to showcase their electric road cars.
For commuters who care about style, stylish electric city cars are now a real alternative to cars. Riese&Müller's Homage is a classic, and it has also been redesigned this year. Homage combines the functions of a city bike suitable for daily use with the riding power of a sports mountain bike. It fully integrates the battery and safety optimized control technology to provide better riding comfort, grip, and high-speed safety. Using Bosch's Dual Battery technology, the riding range is doubled.
Trend 5: Electric bicycle anti-theft insurance, road rescue, and tourism cooperation in response
In most cases, bicycle theft usually only accounts for 1% to 4% of the insurance amount. For owners of expensive electric bicycles, claims are simply not enough. In this regard, Allgemeine Deutsche Fahrrad-Club (ADFC) currently cooperates with an insurance company to provide appropriate insurance services for electric bicycles. Allgemeine Deutsche Fahrrad-Club (ADFC) also provides road rescue services for cyclists. According to emergencies, riders can find the best solution when they fail to solve technical problems by themselves.
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