German bicycle market rides storm of supply in H1, but H2 may be rougher

The German bicycle and electric bike market has navigated a storm of production and supply chain problems to deliver an increased output in the first half of the year, according to trade body ZIV. As has been the talking point at this week’s Eurobike show, demand does however remain higher than even an enhanced supply capability and issues upstream continue to weigh heavily on brand’s ability to complete product and to a defined price.

The backdrop to this is a worldwide problem with multiple key plants closing and production interruptions from 2020 stretching onwards. Again a key topic of Eurobike this week, the scarcity of raw materials – everything from metals to cardboard packaging – and the breaks in the supply chain worked as significant headwinds in 2021 (eg Suez Canal in March 2021.)

In Germany there was a clear increase in the export of bicycles and e-bikes (+10.6%). The sale of e-bikes in Germany also increased again to 1.2 million (+9.1%). 1.55 million bicycles sold, which was significantly fewer than were sold in Germany than in the same period of the previous year (-26%).

According to the ZIV, production and stocks were completely sold in the past year 2020 and in the first half of 2021 the available capacities were mainly used for the production of e-bikes. If a higher domestic delivery (production + import) had been possible, according to the association, significantly more bicycles and more e-bikes could have been sold.

ZIV anticipates further negative effects on the industry in the second half of the year and a medium-term tense situation with regard to raw materials, components and parts. An easing of the situation is not expected until the end of next year, though no certainty exists.

Burkhard Stork, Managing Director of the ZIV: “The companies in the German bicycle industry have defied the problems in the supply chain and produced more than before Corona. The employees in particular did a great job under the most difficult of circumstances. The companies have mainly concentrated on the production of e-bikes, because these are the most popular at the moment. “

Market data for bicycles and e-bikes (pedelecs)

Production
The production in Germany could be increased. 1.41 million vehicles were produced in the first six months. This corresponds to an increase of 1.8%.

Exports
There was also a significant increase in the export of bicycles and e-bikes. Between January and June the export volume increased by 10.6%. The e-bike share of exports was 40%.

Import
According to the figures from the Federal Statistical Office, imports of bicycles and e-bikes rose by around 11.8% in the period under review. The share of e-bikes in imports was 32%.

E-bike sales in Germany
E-bike sales grew again in the first half of 2021. The two-wheel industry association estimates that 1.2 million vehicles were sold in the first half of 2021. That is an increase of 9.1%.

The German Bicycle market by sales
With 1.55 million bicycles without pedal assistance, significantly fewer vehicles in this category were sold than in the same period of the previous year (-26%).

The two-wheel industry association estimates that a total of around 2.75 million bicycles and e-bikes were sold between January and June 2021. This is a decrease of around 14.1% compared to the first half of 2020, which results exclusively from the decrease in bicycles sold without pedal assistance.

Forecast sales of e-bikes in Germany
For the full year 2021, the industry expects 1.9 million e-bikes to be sold. This would correspond to a slight decrease of around -2.6%.

For data on the UK market CI.N’s own report is available at a discounted rate for the remainder of 2021. Email here for more information.

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