Going Going Bike

Oct 072011
Cycling economics 101

Did you know that Britain ranks second in Europe for overall bicycles sold in the trading region? It caught me by surprise. I had assumed France and Italy would be above the UK in this regard.

Figures from European bicycle industry associations Colibi and Coliped give the UK a 19% share of the European market in terms of bicycles sold in 2010. This amounts to 3.64m bikes sold in the UK last year, a rise from the 3.4m units sold in 2009. Sales of bicycles to the consumer in the UK are estimated at 1.1bn Euros (£950m).

The breakdown of the UK market is contained within the annual European Bicycle Industry & Market Profile from Colibi (European Bicycle Industry Association) and Coliped (European Two-Wheeler Parts & Accessories Association).

Germany leads the way

Germany tops the 27 European countries in the study with a 21% share and 4m bikes sold. France and Italy rank third and fourth in terms of units sold.

Overall, bicycle sales in the European Union were stable in 2010. Total bikes sold only fell less than 1% to 19.4m units. In 2007, 21m units were sold.

UK consumers on average spent 280 Euros (£242) on new bike purchase. This figure is dwarfed by The Netherlands, where the average selling price of a new bike was 745 Euros. Germany the next market down from the Netherlands paid 460 Euros per bike on average. The UK still ranks quite highly with Brits paying more than French and Italian consumers on a new bike.

Electric bikes

The area of electric cycles is worth noting as this is seen as the fast-growing segment of the bike market. Total unit sales in the European Union amounted to 588,000 with Germany and the Netherlands taking 63 percent of total sales. Germany led the category with 200,000 units followed by the Netherlands’ 171,000. The UK sold 30,000 electric bikes in 2010.

Bike production

UK bicycle production rose to 48,000 units in 2010 from 28,000 units in 2009, but the bike manufacturing industry here is unlikely to ever reach the heights it once had. This decline is highlighted by the fact, 1.2m bikes were manufactured in the UK in 2000. Compare that to the number of units being made now.

See also

Report reveals a “healthy” and “growing” UK cycle economy

British Cycling receives additional funds to boost cycling numbers

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