ZIV market data: stable e-bike sales and full warehouses

Frankfurt am Main, 02.07.2024 | In the run-up to the world’s leading trade fair, Eurobike, the ZIV has presented its market data for the German bicycle industry for the first four months of 2024. E-bike sales remain at a high level and the overall market situation is characterised by healthy demand with high stock levels. ZIV CEO Burkhard Stork continues to see tremendous growth potential for the bicycle industry.

Sales in Germany
From January to April 2024, sales to end customers remained virtually unchanged in the German e-bike market compared to last year: According to the ZIV, 800,000 e-bikes were sold in the first months of 2024. This represents a minimal decline of 1.23% compared to the same period in the previous year (810,000). 650,000 bicycles (2023: 800,000) were sold between January and April 2024 – a decrease of around 19% compared to 2023. Particularly high-quality gravel bikes and racing bikes are currently selling very well.

Full warehouses
The situation at retailers and manufacturers continues to be characterised by full warehouses. According to the ZIV market data for 2023, the retail stock levels of bicycles and e-bikes are twice as high as in «normal» years, lying at 1.45 million, though still significantly lower than the average of 4.3 million units per year. Fewer units were produced or imported in the first months of 2024 than in previous years as a consequence. The warehouses are also still full in the receiving countries of exporting producers, meaning that fewer units were exported than during the same period last year.

According to the ZIV, 630,000 e-bikes were produced in the first four months of 2024, 16% fewer than in the previous year. The number of bicycles produced during the same period decreased by around 21% compared to last year, totalling 340,000 units. In all, just under one million bicycles and e-bikes were produced during this period, so 18% fewer units than in 2023 (1,180,000).

In the first third of 2024, 219,000 bicycles were exported from Germany, which was around 30% fewer than in the same period in 2023 (314,000). Exports of e-bikes also declined: 215,000 units, so around 11% fewer than during the same period last year. Overall, exports of bicycles and e-bikes decreased by 22% compared to the same period in the previous year to a total of 434,000 units. E-bike exports still lie above the 2020 level (190,000) though and thus show solid growth beyond the turbulent pandemic years. In the first third of 2024, 486,000 bicycles and 263,000 e-bikes were imported. This represents a drop of around 44% and 43% respectively compared to the same period in 2023. Overall, imports fell by around 44% (749,000) in the first half of the year compared to the previous year.

The ZIV expects the situation to remain tense this year for manufacturers of bicycles and e-bikes and particularly for manufacturers of bike parts and accessories. «The outlook is not entirely consistent. Some segments are already producing more, while others still have full warehouses,» says ZIV CEO Burkhard Stork. «The interest in bicycles and e-bikes remains. Hence sales will undoubtedly pick up and the production of bicycles and bicycle parts will also once again increase», Stork adds. The association expects a significant recovery from 2025 and points out that sales still exceed the pre-pandemic level.

However, the lack of support from policymakers and the misguided discussions about bicycles and cycling in the media are hindering the urgently needed mobility transition. «Cycle paths blocked by parked cars, speeding on rural and urban roads that goes unpunished and the generally lacking or protected cycling infrastructure mean many people are reluctant to continue using a bike. The municipalities aren’t using the funds provided by the federal government, but they’re the ones mainly responsible for expanding the infrastructure,» says Stork. The bicycle industry is also an important economic pillar in Germany that is securing skilled employment and SMEs in rural areas in particular.

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 around 130 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 2023 were from ZIV member companies, which export 1.4 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 | Reinhardtstraße 7, 10117 Berlin | Tel.: +49 30 439 735 773 | Mobile: +49 170 734 23 72, presse@ziv-zweirad.de