Following a successful 2014, the bicycle industry in Germany has once again reportedly had an outstanding start to the current season. Germans’ enthusiasm for biking remains unbridled. Similar to last year, the mild winter and pleasant spring helped generate good sales numbers for many manufacturers.
The Zweirad-Industrie-Verband e.V. (ZIV), the German bicycle industry association, estimates that about 2.86 million bicycles and e-bikes were sold to German consumers between January and June. That corresponds to an increase of around 2%. If the positive weather conditions in Germany remain, the ZIV is confident that this positive trend will also continue in the weeks and months ahead.
The production volume of bicycles and e-bikes in the first half of 2015 remained at about the same level as in the same period in the last year, with an estimated 1.6 million units being produced.
The import situation is much different than in the previous year. As the industry expected, imports of bicycles and e-bikes were markedly above the previous year’s levels through April. This can be explained by the fact that, because of the currency situation, market players have stocked up on merchandise.
Whereas normally 60% of imports take place in the first half of the year, estimates place this figure at just over 70% this year. Consequently, in the estimation of the ZIV, imports should drop noticeably in the second half of the year.
The export situation is difficult to appraise at the moment, as developments in the first half of the year were characterized by wide swings. However, the trend seems to be that export levels are slightly above last year’s levels.
Due to the increased imports, domestic deliveries are significantly above last year’s figures and show double-digit growth. Like the import situation, this is atypical and, in the estimate of ZIV, will more closely reflect sales levels in the second half of the year.
Over the intermediate term, the ZIV expects that the e-bike market in Germany will reach a share of about 15%. In unit terms, this corresponds to about 600,000 e-bikes.
More and more, the e-bike is becoming a partner in everyday mobility. However, in the view of the ZIV, technical advances, new model groups and alternative design solutions are also partly responsible for the undiminished interest in these powered bicycles.
In addition to e-bikes, city bikes and especially trekking bikes symbolize this mobility mood. This year trekking bikes have remained at the same high level as last year, which shows that this model class is perceived as a contemporary mobility solution – ‘sporty, comfortable, flexible, robust, and of course fully equipped, with a light and a luggage rack.’
Siegfried Neuberger, General Manager of ZIV, said “2014 was a very successful year for the bicycle industry. It is therefore all the more pleasing that the industry has had a similar good start in 2015. Good market conditions and unrestrained interest in the bicycle product make us confident that 2015 will also be a good year for the industry.”
The Zweirad-Industrie-Verband e.V. (ZIV) is the national industry association and service provider for the German and international bicycle industry. This industry includes manufacturers and importers of bicycles, bicycle components, accessories and e-bikes.