2023 market data: bicycle industry defies negative consumer climate

Berlin, 13.03.2024 | The German bicycle industry association (ZIV) today presented its market data for 2023: «Despite the current economic situation, bicycles and e-bikes remain very popular among consumers,» says ZIV CEO, Burkhard Stork.

«We’re delighted that bicycles and e-bikes remain popular with consumers for everyday mobility and recreation,» says Burkhard Stork, CEO of the ZIV, which publishes the figures every year. «With regard to e-bikes as a market and innovation driver, companies from the German bicycle industry are today playing a pioneering role worldwide. ‘Engineered in Germany’ and ‘Made in Europe’ are the guarantors of engineering, design, quality, sustainability and value retention for e-bikes.»
Bicycle production remains consistently high – e-bikes are driving the market
Contrary to expectations and the generally negative consumer climate, bicycle production and sales both once again attained very high levels in 2023 – comparable to the bicycle boom prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Overall, the number of bicycles and e-bikes continued to grow in Germany in 2023 – as in the previous years – to 84 million units (2022: 82.8 million units), with a share of around 11 million e-bikes. In addition to the purchase of new bikes to replace old ones, there is a growing trend toward acquiring a second or third bike – for recreation, sport or transport purposes, for example. According to the ZIV, market saturation therefore still isn’t in sight.

E-bikes are driving the bicycle industry – in almost all product categories. In 2023, more e-bikes were sold in Germany than bicycles for the first time: e-bikes held a 53% share of the market with 2.1 million units sold (2022: 48%) and bicycles a 47% share with 1.9 million units sold (2022: 52%). The high market share of specialist retailers is noteworthy here. It increased by one percentage point to 77% in 2023, while hypermarkets, DIY stores and discount supermarkets continued to lose ground with a market share of 1% (down 1 percentage point).

After the all-time high in bicycle and e-bike production in Germany in 2022, which led to overfilled warehouses last year due to the temporary slump in demand, production levelled off in 2023 to end on a par with the 2020 boom year (2.3 million units) – so a very good level. The German bicycle industry actually harbours even greater potential, as the lion’s share of production takes place abroad on behalf of German companies (90% predominantly in EU countries). Contract manufacturing by German companies abroad totals 710,000 units. Thus, the companies of the German bicycle industry accounted for 3 million bicycles and e-bikes produced in Germany and abroad in 2023.
High sales reflect intrinsic value of products
Sales in the bicycle industry also remained at a consistently high level in 2023: The bicycles and e-bikes sold in Germany in 2023 were worth a total of €7.06 billion (2022: €7.36 billion; 2021: €6.56 billion; 2019: €4 billion). The intrinsic value of products is also reflected in the sales prices. Across all sales channels (specialist retailers, online, hypermarkets, etc.), the industry recorded a gross average sales price of €470 for bicycles (2022: €500) and €2,950 for e-bikes (2022: €2,800) in 2023. The growing proportion of cargo bikes must be borne in mind here. As they are more expensive, they lead to higher average prices.
Customers value the offers – exceptions in the overall economic situation
«Overall, the market data shows very clearly that people in Germany greatly value cycling in everyday life and recreation, along with the associated high-quality products,» says ZIV CEO Burkhard Stork. The bicycle market thus remained at a consistently high level, defying the generally negative consumer climate in 2023. Consumers value bicycles – and especially e-bikes – offering high quality and innovative technology as well as the advice and services provided by qualified specialist retailers and their workshops. Leasing options through employers have also become an important market driver. Experts estimate that around one in four bikes is today provided via a leasing agreement; this offers countless advantages for employees. Particularly stationary specialist retailers are benefitting extensively from this development.
Specialist bicycle retail: VSF sees continued high importance and positive results
The VSF – German Service & Bicycle Association, which represents a significant part of the stationary specialist retail in Germany together with Bike & Co., also sees positive results despite all the difficulties in the market and is optimistic about the current year. «Stationary specialist retail is proving remarkably stable in these turbulent times,» notes VSF Managing Director Uwe Wöll. «The situation in stationary specialist retail is tangibly positive – in terms of total sales, average prices, business expectations and stock levels, for example. Specialist retail thus remains the mainstay of the bicycle industry and the decisive sales channel for high-quality bicycles and e-bikes.»
Outlook: bicycles and e-bikes will remain popular
«The rising mobility, energy, rent and living costs, coupled with a growing environmental and health awareness, are conditions that boost the popularity of bicycles and e-bikes – both now and undoubtedly also in the future. Policymakers mustn’t forget bicycles and must finally fully recognise their potential,» says ZIV CEO Burkhard Stork.


The bicycle market in figures: the ZIV market data
For more than 50 years now, the ZIV has published the economic figures for the German bicycle industry every year. The ZIV market data is the central source for surveys, monitoring and analyses of developments within the industry and also provides outlooks on trends within the sector and the future of the market.

ZIV – German Bicycle Industry
The ZIV represents the interests of and is a strong voice for the Germany bicycle industry. As an industry association, it brings together and represents 121 member companies vis-à-vis lawmakers in the EU and Germany, the German government, authorities, media, institutions and organisations. Ninety percent of the bicycles and e-bikes produced in Germany in 2022 were from ZIV member companies, which export 1.5 million units every year in addition to sales on the domestic market. The ZIV represents established companies and start-ups, manufacturers and retailers (including importers and wholesalers) as well as players from the entire bicycle ecosystem.

Press contact
Pablo Ziller, ZIV – German Bicycle Industry Association, Reinhardtstraße 7, 10117 Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 439 773 767, Mobile: +49 170 734 23 72, presse@ziv-zweirad.de


ZIV market data archive

See here for the economic figures for the German bicycle industry in recent years
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