EU bicycle production grows 5% as Portugal assumes top spot

Data released by Eurostat detailing EU bicycle production has perched Portugal as the leading European supplier, responsible for the manufacture of 2.7 million units in 2019, gaining over 700,000 units year-on-year.

11.4 million bicycles were produced by EU member states in 2019 (excluding the UK). This represents a rise of 5% and one which can likely pin its fortunes to a slow but steady trend of reshoring, localising of assembly and production, as well as anti-dumping tariffs attached to things like electric bikes shipped in from China. Meanwhile, Portugal’s rise can in part be attributed to the construction of a ‘Bike Valley’, to which many industry businesses are now invested.

With UK data added, EU bicycle production tallied 11,540,700 in 2019.

The annual tally is 17% lower than at the industry’s peak European production, which came in 2017 where 13.7 million units were made, but it does show a return to growth for member states.

Rounding out the top spots, Eurostat states that Italy produced 2.1 million units, Germany 1.5 million, Poland 0.9 million and the Netherlands 0.7 million. Combined, the top five producers turned out 70% of total EU production of bicycles in 2019.

As of next year, Eurostat will no longer include data from the United Kingdom with the Brexit process expected to have concluded, but for this year the tally for the UK came in at a new high against figures dating back to 2012; 124,033 units were said to have been produced from January to December 2019.

This increase in production doesn’t quite cover a slump in medium-term imports into the UK, with electric bikes only somewhat propping up numbers as the market adjusts its supply chain.

In more recent history, the Coronavirus bike boom of 2020 has added significant numbers at short notice, with some suppliers ordering north of 30,000 bikes in a month in order to meet demand from an estimated 5% of the population said to have purchased in 2020 so far.

The Eurostat data highlights healthy rises in year-on-year production for Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, France and the UK, while declines were recorded for Bulgaria, Poland, Sweden and Spain.