135 years of combined strength: the German bicycle industry

2023 marks an anniversary and a promising new direction for the German bicycle industry and our association: we’re celebrating the 135th anniversary of the ZIV and its predecessor associations and at the same time restructuring the ZIV to open it up to the entire bicycle ecosystem.

In 1888, the first pioneers of bicycle production in Germany joined together to represent the interests of their young, emerging industry as a united force. Whole worlds lie between that time and today: an imperial empire, two world wars, dictatorships, division and reunification. The bicycle industry has never just experienced these processes passively though. Rather, it has always attempted to shape them, exert influence and help to make Germany not only an economically strong country, but also a modern one that faces the future, recognises the needs of the time and is decisively involved in technological advances and the mobility transition.
Even stronger in the future:
restructuring the ZIV
The significantly changed framework conditions, including rapid market growth, new players in the fields of mobility as a service and digital products, and external factors such as climate change, war, energy, raw materials and the mobility transition bring huge opportunities for the bicycle industry. At the same time, they make a broadening of perspectives as well as changes necessary – also within the ZIV. While the ZIV only represented the import and wholesale sectors in the past, in future it will champion the concerns of the entire bicycle ecosystem. The name of ‘Zweirad-Industrie-Verband’, which translates literally as the ‘bicycle industry association’, has still been retained however.

The situation is promising: 80 million bicycles make up the largest vehicle fleet in this country. 75% of the population uses a bicycle. Every day, more journeys are completed by bicycle than by all other modes of public transport. We’ve long since successfully achieved vehicle electrification and added 10 million electric vehicles to the fleet without a cent in subsidies.

We’re the leading vehicle industry in this country in so many ways. Our story has only just begun! Happy birthday, ZIV!
Celebrating together
– the big anniversary celebration
A big anniversary celebration with the motto of «135 years of combined strength: the German bicycle industry» took place on 20 April 2023 on the evening before the ZIV’s 2023 annual general assembly in Berlin. Around 200 invited guests from politics, business, media and society experienced the live staging of the eventful history of the ZIV and its predecessor associations as well as the exciting development of the role of bicycles in society over this time in the halls of a former rail freight depot in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg – alternating with lively, thought-provoking discussions on the issues that will in future be the most pressing for politics, the industry and the ZIV.

Happy birthday, ZIV!

Greetings on the occasion of the 135th anniversary
Play film »
Restructuring in 2023

Even stronger in the future

The ZIV now represents the entire bicycle ecosystem
Learn more »