With the pandemic, many citizens (re)discovered the bicycle, as the ideal vehicle to get in shape and recover freedom lost in confinement. However, as happened with other sectors, the bubble (not the wheel) has been punctured. The bicycle industry as a whole in Spain (which includes accessories, repairs or rentals) billed a total of 2,714 million euros in 2022, 6% less in year-on-year terms, which is why it reduced its turnover after registering figures record in 2020 and 2021.
Likewise, the number of bicycles sold in Spain registered a contraction of 13.59% compared to the previous year, up to 1.35 million units, according to data provided yesterday by the AMBE (Association of Brands and Bicycles of Spain) in collaboration with Cofidis in its annual report on the sector.
The turnover of the sector as a whole is reduced by 6% in 2022 after the records of the pandemic
“There was less demand due to the current economic and social context. We must also discount the effect of the boom just after the pandemic, which made recording records out of the ordinary”, Jesús Freire, secretary of the AMBE, comments to this newspaper. Another noteworthy fact is that the average price of the bicycle exceeded the psychological barrier of 1,000 euros for the first time, reaching 1,121 euros.
Behind this increase (apart from the effect of the rise in the cost of raw materials and components) we must consider the growing weight of electric bicycles, which tend to be more expensive Today they represent almost half –45.66%– of total sales in Spain in value and 17% of the units delivered.
For Jesús Freire, if electric cars are subsidized, the same should also be done with bicycles, eliminating VAT or providing direct aid, as occurs in other neighboring countries in Europe. It would also be necessary, according to the AMBE, to invest not only in bike lanes, but also in closed parking lots, especially to protect vehicles that have increasingly higher prices.
Even so, the analysis made by the operators of these data is rather bittersweet, because there are also figures that invite some optimism. In Spain, more bicycles than cars continue to be sold. In terms of jobs, the sector recorded its best year since there are records, with 24,456 workers. And state production increased by 2.8% in value to 255 million euros, double compared to 2019. As for exports, they have tripled in this period. They go on wheels.
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