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The bicycle market on the go – Economy


The bicycle market is racing ahead. In 2020, he defied all predictions. “We have had an atypical but exceptional year,” confirms Union Sport & Cycle director Jérôme Valentin. And for good reason, at the start of the health crisis, professionals anticipated a drop in the market of around 20% and a net stop in production. It was without counting on the desire of the French to get on the bike. Confined, they began to pedal during their daily trips or for their leisure. This practice is encouraged by the “Cycling help” scheme and the development of temporary cycling facilities made by local authorities. We would then have thought that the end of confinement would stop the French in their tracks. On the contrary, cycling has increased by 27% outside the confinement period in France, according to data from the organization Vélo et Territoires.

Three billion euros in turnover

This trend is confirmed with the figures for the sector, unveiled this Thursday. Global turnover exceeds the three billion euros mark in 2020. Unheard of. It’s 25% better than in 2019. “It’s exceptional,” says Jérôme Valentin.

Nearly 2.7 million new bicycles were thus sold last year for an amount of 1.925 billion euros. In detail, the craze for electrically assisted bicycles (VAE) is confirmed. 514 672 models were sold last year. With an average purchase price of 2,079 euros, up 21%, the turnover of the electric bicycle market now weighs just over one billion euros. “The French are attentive to the product they buy. They don’t necessarily go for the top prize. Professionals have also moved upmarket. Finally, the lack of promotion explains this increase in the average price of pedelecs, ”remarks Jérôme Valentin.

The opportunity is going well

Faced with VAE, the good old bike has not said its last word. “It will not disappear,” reminds the director of Union Sport & Cycle. Just look at the figures for the accessories and spare parts market to see: + 21% last year, compared to 5% in previous years. Repairers have benefited in particular from the “bicycle boost” device. With aid of 50 euros per bicycle, a million bicycles were repaired last year.

However, this enthusiasm highlighted the limits of the sector: overworked repairers, stockouts, shortages of parts from Asia, rising prices, lack of skilled labor…. So many challenges that the industry will have to meet in 2021. “We hope to have a good year. But distributors will have logistical difficulties, ”warns Jérôme Valentin. Notice to enthusiasts, you will not have to wait until the last moment if you want to offer a bike as a birthday present.

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