On a bicycle, all over the world: manufacturers of bikes overwhelmed

À bicyclette, sur toute la planète: les fabricants de vélos débordés

PARIS | A surge in sales of bikes up to… 5 000 % by places: at a standstill for months, manufacturers are struggling to meet the demand of a planet still more greedy of bicycles.

Proof of the infatuation, since February, the global research of the bicycle routes in the program Google Maps have jumped by 69 % — and reached a historical high. Historical Record also for the research of repairers of bicycles, according to the internet giant, which have doubled this month.

In France, sales of bicycles have doubled in may and June compared to the same month last year, according to the federation of Union sport and cycle. The bike has been embraced by city dwellers who see it as a way to avoid crowded bus ride and metro trains overcrowded, while spending after weeks of confinement.

At the european level, a spokesman for the store chain Decathlon said sales of bikes have been “multiplied by two or even three” and advance the demands of bicycles multiplied by five in China at the exit of the containment.

Online sales of bicycles in the United States have reached an historic peak in mid-may: the number of bicycles sold has been higher than 5 000 per cent from mid-may 2019. The total sales of bikes — online and in — store in the country on pick-up trucks and other large vehicles have increased by 81 % in may compared to may 2019, to reach 1.11 billion dollars, according to People for Bikes, which brings together manufacturers and retailers.

Well decided to acquire a cycle, Nicolas, a Parisian, 31 years old, had to visit eight stores before finding his happiness. And “exploding the budget to take the range above, because the bikes in the price that it was originally fixed have been “robbed”.

“I was looking for a specific bike that I had taken a month to choose from, but it was available nowhere, at the end I was ready to take on any bike, but everything was out of stock”, speaks to the AFP.

Deposit refunded

Pancho Pimentel, marketing manager at Summit Bicycles, which has five shops in California finds “breaks everywhere, brands of bikes, spare parts”. The sector is “working with a global supply chain that has been interrupted with the COVID-19, and the consequences are felt in all categories”.

“We lost about three months in the production of parts (between the different confinement), and our stocks have been sold in just two months”, explains to the AFP Moreno Fioravanti, the general secretary of the Association of european manufacturers of bicycles (EBMA).

Federico Mosca, vendor independent bicycle in Paris, explained to AFP: “since three weeks or a month, it is very complicated to get a bike, I have a dozen clients waiting, but for some I refunded the deposit because I have no idea of the date of delivery of their bike”.

At Decathlon, some waiting lists are created also, but the sign, for example, offers bikes second hand reconditioned to customers more impatient.

If the company ensures to produce in Europe 98 % of all bicycles sold on the continent, the Confederation of european industry cycle (CONEBI) has estimated that approximately 45% to 50 % of the bike parts assembled in Europe are imported from Asia.

In 2019, 7.3 million bikes (mechanical and electrical) have been imported into Europe, mainly from Taiwan and Cambodia, according to the CONEBI.

The taiwanese Giant, the world’s leading manufacturer, has seen its sales in Europe to increase by 140 % in June, compared to the same month in 2019, particularly boosted by the sales of electric bikes. And its order book is full until the first half of 2021.

“The market situation is not so bad as what some people think”, reassures Manual Marsilio, director-general of the CONEBI, which provides for a return to normal for September, made possible by the “flexibility of european producers who will, for the most part, do not take a summer vacation”, in order to close the gap between supply and demand.

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