2023 marks a change in the bicycle industry. Unlike previous years of high investment and booming markets, this year’s focus is on bankruptcies, closures and financial concerns.
In fact, from the end of 2022, bankruptcies began to be rumored in the industry.
Companies such as Cycle Union and Prophete in Germany, online marketplaces Bikesales Solutions and Advanced Sports GmbH declared bankruptcy in late 2022. However, this is only the beginning.
VanMoof's collapse and rebirth
VanMoof plunged into bankruptcy over the summer and was officially declared bankrupt on July 17, 2023, despite seeking additional funding from investors in January and raising €200 million from venture capitalists, service issues that have plagued the company since the launch of the S3 model finally made it unsustainable.
After months of engagement, Lavoie, the electric scooter division of British company McLaren Applied, has become VanMoof’s new owner, announcing that it will develop a sustainable and promising plan for the company’s future.
The plight of Signa Sports and the bankruptcy of subsidiaries
Signa Sports United reported poor financials and a 23.5% decline in sales in early October, followed by a series of restructurings that included terminating or phasing out non-performing assets, restructuring underperforming business units and evaluating the sale of non-core assets.
The company’s subsidiaries, such as Internetstores, its North American cycling division and online retail giant WiggleCRC, have declared bankruptcy, casting a shadow over the industry.
Financial fluctuations and inventory issues at Accell Group
As one of the top 5 road electric bike manufacturers in the world, Accell Group became the focus of financial volatility. The company’s 2022 financial report shows that in the second half of 2022, inventory value surged 70% to €936 million.
Financial concerns led Fitch Ratingss to downgrade its credit rating to CCC several times, stating that Accell Group is “vulnerable to non-payment and dependent on favourable business, financial and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.”
As the end of the year approached, Accell Group announced organizational changes.
Industry restructuring and factory closures
Accell Group has announced organizational changes as the end of the year approaches.
British bike maker Raleigh is cutting jobs and relocating its headquarters, while Ghost’s 30-year-old production facility in Germany will be shut down and production capacity relocated overseas, with Hungary emerging as a potential destination. You can also check the top 10 bike parts manufacturers in Europe for your reference.
Trade disputes and the complexity of anti-dumping regulations
In June, Lijun Ding, the Chinese owner of France’s Leon Cycles, was arrested on suspicion of violating anti-dumping rules, and in November, a Belgian importer was prosecuted by prosecutors for evading duties.
This raises the question of whether 30 years of anti-dumping regulations have become too complicated.
Product innovation and noteworthy releases
Despite inventory issues dominating the market, in 2023 SRAM unveiled its highly anticipated electric bikes drive system.
Yamaha unveiled the Booster Easy e-bike and Booster Speed-pedelec in May, designed to meet the demand for clean, quiet and accessible urban transportation.
Pi-Pop e-bike, which uses supercapacitors to store energy, offers innovative ideas for exploring the sustainability of the bicycle industry in 2024.
The future is in your own hands
Despite the difficulties faced by the industry as a whole, the growth in e-bikes sales in Europe by 2022 makes them the preferred solution for greener urban mobility. You can also check e-bikes for sale near me for your reference.
High selling prices are increasing the value of the e-bike market. In Spain, for example, the value of bicycle production and exports will exceed pre-epidemic levels by 2023.
Shimano noted in its Q3 report that the market has cooled but consumer interest in bicycles remains high, a long-term trend in Europe and North America.