The impact of Covid on the 2020 bike market

EU e-bike imports increased by 10% in 2020 to meet the expanding market. Taiwan strengthened its market position as e-bike supplier for the European market, increasing its market share from 46% in 201,9 to 51% in 2020, official EU statistics show. Taiwan shipped 415,270 e-bikes to the EU last year versus 342,058 units in 2019. Also, Vietnam and Turkey ranking second and fourth generated a more than double digit export increase to the European Union. Vietnam exported almost 150,000 units to Europe between January and November, while Turkey shipped near to 50,000 e-bikes. In contrast to the e-bike imports, bicycle imports into the EU continued to decline. However, the decrease in EU bicycle imports was less than in previous years in response to the bike boom.

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Growing importance of Vietnam Vietnam’s importance as an e-bike supplier for the European Union is growing and this shift has two main reasons. Firstly, the Vietnam–EU free trade agreement as well as lucrative local content rules that the European Union applies for e-bikes made in Vietnam that are exported to the EU. On top of that, the Taiwanese industry holds a strong position in its neighbouring Vietnam. So there is all reason to expect that Vietnam’s e-bike export volumes will continue to expand in the next few years. China lost another 20% of its export volume and shipped just over 73,000 e-bikes to the EU, versus 91,210 in 2019. 

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Decrease in EU bicycle imports slows amid Covid-19 cycling boom 

The number of bicycles imported into the EU went down by 3.8% from 4,452,823 units in the first 11 months of 2019 to 4,283,620 units in the same period last year. This decrease in EU bicycle imports was less than in previous years which could be attributed to the bicycle sales boom after the first lock-down. The drop in imported volumes of regular bicycles as reported by Eurostat versus the increase of e-bikes is in line with market developments in Europe’s main cycling countries. In more and more EU countries, the market is switching from regular bicycles to the higher priced e-bikes. 

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