Germany’s bike market resilient amid global slowdown

Germany's bike market resilient amid global slowdown

The global bicycle market slowed in 2023. However, in the midst of the market downturn, the German bicycle industry has shown a unique resilience and vitality, and has maintained a favorable development trend.

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    The unsaturated bicycle market

    The German bicycle and e-bike market will total 84 million units in 2023, an increase of 1.2 million units from 2022, and the total market for e-bikes will reach 11 million units, accounting for 13% of the total.

    The huge stock of bicycles has brought the per capita ownership of bicycles in Germany close to that of the Netherlands, which is known as the Kingdom of Bicycles, especially since Germany’s bicycle market has been growing at a rate that is far ahead of the rest of Europe in recent years.

    Germanys bicycle market remains favorable despite global slowdown 1

    In addition, German consumers have a large number of replacement needs for new bicycles, and suppliers of urban, sports and freight vehicles for different purposes also stimulate consumer demand for different types of products.

    The market has not yet been saturated to show great potential for development.

    Simultaneous growth in production and sales

    In terms of sales, bicycle and e-bike sales in Germany in 2023 totaled 4.0 million units, with sales reaching €7.06 billion. Sales of bicycles totaled 1.9 million and sales of e-bikes totaled 2.1 million.

    Overall sales are down slightly, but still show a positive trend compared to the pre-epidemic period.

    Meanwhile, sales of e-bikes have overtaken those of conventional bikes for the first time, and with average prices rising year-on-year to $2,950 in 2023 and falling to $400 for bicycles, e-bikes have become the main driver of the German bicycle market.

    Germanys bicycle market remains favorable despite global slowdown 2

    Production also maintained the same growth trend, affected by the decline in global market demand. Germany’s production of traditional bicycles and e-bikes in 2023 fell to 2.3 million units, of which e-bikes are less affected, compared to 2022, a decline of 5.9%.

    In addition, the German Bicycle Association said that many German companies choose to build factories in other countries to produce.

    According to statistics, Germany, through the construction of factories abroad, produces a total of 710,000 units of two-wheeled vehicles, so Germany’s bicycle production is higher than the data show. You can also check the top 10 two-wheeler battery companies in the world for your reference.

    Germanys bicycle market remains favorable despite global slowdown 3

    E-bike exports grow with strong intra-EU demand

    Germany imported 2.26 million bicycles in 2023, down 24% year-on-year. The majority of imported bicycles come from EU countries (49%) and Asia (46%).

    In Asia, Cambodia is the main supplier, accounting for 20% of total imports. This suggests that while Asia remains an important source of imports, the EU also plays an important role in meeting domestic market demand. Who are the top 10 electric bike manufacturers in Cambodia?

    Imports of e-bikes will reach 1.22 million units by 2023.

    Compared to bicycle imports, German e-bikes come mainly from EU countries, with the EU’s share of imports increasing from 69% in 2022 to 71% in 2023, almost triple the share from Asia, due to the expansion of EU production and transport costs of intra-EU trade.

    Meanwhile, the anti-dumping duty imposed on Chinese e-bikes has also hit imports of Asian products. Explore the top 15 electric bike manufacturers in the Asia for your reference.

    Germanys bicycle market remains favorable despite global slowdown 4

    German bicycle exports are down to 800,000 units by 2023, but demand for German-made e-bikes remains strong abroad, especially in the EU and EFTA countries.

    In contrast to bicycle exports, e-bikes exports grew in the face of market difficulties, from 580,000 units in 2022 to 610,000 units in 2023, with the majority of exported vehicles going to the EU and EFTA member states, where high demand for German bicycle products reflects the leading position of German brands in the European market.

    Germanys bicycle market remains favorable despite global slowdown 5

    Bicycle market dominated by urban travel and commuting

    Demand in the German bicycle market is dominated by urban travel and commuting, with urban bikes accounting for 74% of the market share, Treking accounting for 42%, and growth in the sports segment, where the share of mountain bikes increased marginally to 5%, and racing and other sports bikes accounted for 9%, reflecting the rising trend towards outdoor activities and fitness.

    Germanys bicycle market remains favorable despite global slowdown 6

    The e-bike segment has a 39% share of electric mountain bikes (E-MTBs), while e-cargo bike sales are growing most significantly, by 14.5%, from 165,000 units in 2022 to 189,000 units in 2023. 

    Germany is one of the markets with the highest growth potential for cargo bikes, reflecting commercial and personal demand for efficient, environmentally friendly transportation. Demand for efficient and environmentally friendly transportation by both businesses and individuals.

    Germanys bicycle market remains favorable despite global slowdown 7

    In terms of distribution channels, consumers prefer to purchase bicycles from channels that offer specialized services, resulting in the dominance of the specialty retail channel, which accounts for 77% of the market, including 74% for brick and mortar specialty retailers, and an increasing proportion of Internet sales, which account for 3% of sales.

    In addition, hypermarkets, hardware stores and discount stores have seen a significant decline in market share, from 4% in 2021 to 1% in 2023.

    In Germany, the bicycle market has stabilized at a high level and is expected to emerge from a generally negative consumer environment. You can also explore the top 10 electric bike manufacturers in German for your reference.


    Consumer demand is particularly strong for high-quality, technologically innovative bicycles, especially e-bikes. Uwe Wöll, Managing Director of the German Bicycle Association (VSF), said: “The stationary bicycle retail sector has shown exceptional stability, even in turbulent times.

    The rising costs of transportation, energy, rents and living standards, as well as increased awareness of the environment and health, will now be important factors driving the popularity of bicycles and e-bikes”.

    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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