The European market is flooded with Asian-made bicycles. Two thirds of imported bicycles are manufactured in Asia with Taiwan as main supplier, promptly followed by China. In 2005, nearly 1 million bicycles were imported.
Bicycle imports from Asia soaring
In recent years, imports of bicycles from Asia have been soaring. Last year, bicycle imports from Asia totalled 650 thousand, as against only 330 thousand in 2002. Three quarters came from Taiwan and China. Imports from Taiwan totalled 278 thousand in 2005, i.e. 3 thousand more than in 2004. The number of bicycles imported from China increased by 57 thousand to 207 thousand over the same period.
Share of imports from Europe plummeting
Growing imports of bicycles from countries in Asia are pushing back the European market share. In the period 2002-2005, the European market share dropped from 40 to 30 percent. Germany is Europe’s main supplier of bicycles. With 112 thousand bicycles in 2005, Germany’s market share in total imports of bicycles is 11 percent.
Marginal increase domestic production
After two lean years, the manufacture of Dutch bicycles is picking up again. In 2005, the Netherlands manufactured 894 thousand bicycles, a 1 percent increase on 2004.
Exports to countries elsewhere in Europe
Nearly all bicycles exported are sold in Europe. In 2005, more than 500 thousand bicycles were exported, a slight increase compared to 2004. Nearly one third were destined for Germany.