No sign of market slowdown in Germany

Germany's e-bike and bicycle sales record during the 2020 pandemic was not just a hype. The market statistics published by the national industry organisation, ZIV, clearly show that in 2021 the industry was even able to step up production and sales volumes.

“Despite all the challenges, 2021 was a great success for the German bicycle industry,” said ZIV managing director Burkhard Stork at the start of his presentation on the 2021 German market statistics. “From the beginning, it was foreseeable that it would not be an easy year: pandemic-related factory closures, massively disrupted supply chains and delivery difficulties caused serious problems that jeopardised the success of the industry.”

Effect of reshoring

Last September, ZIV anticipated on a total e-bike market volume of 1.9 million units, which would correspond to a slight decrease of around -2.6%. This slight decline was mainly attributed to supply chain constraints.  
“Nevertheless, the manufacturers were able to increase their production volumes by 10% last year,” Burkhard Stork confirms. “This success could also be attributed in part to the result of reshoring effects that can already be observed today. The industry could have achieved an even better result when urgently needed parts would have been available in time.”

More production, higher inventory

In 2021 a total of 1.43 million e-bike (+ 8%) and 940,000 bicycles (+ 13.2%) were produced by the German industry. The total value of these 2.37 units was €6.56 billion. In addition, 4.14 million bicycles and e-bike were imported to Germany. This represents an increase of 11% compared to 2020. Exports remained almost unchanged at 1.56 million units.

The market share of the e-bike is steadily growing and now stands at 43%. “This market share will continue to grow in the coming years,” states Burkhard Stork. “Some industry insiders forecasted an e-bike market share of more than 50% in the near future. Their outlook was often met with scepticism. I can tell you now: we are almost there.”
The import of bicycles and e-bikes is becoming ever more important for the German market. As a Bike Europe subscriber, you have access to the complete Market Report Germany on Bike Europe, including the developments on the import/export market.


Burkhard Stork

ZIV Managing Director Burkhard Stork

“As an industry we have stepped up the market volumes structurally above pre-corona levels. A better product availability would even have led to higher sales figures.”

Market perspectives

“The energy shortage and rising mobility costs caused by the Ukrainian war will motivate many people to use their bikes more often,” said ZIV chairman Burkhard Stork during the presentation of the 2021 German market statistics. “We expect high demand for the coming years. The opportunities that result from this for a successful mobility transition must be vigorously exploited and promoted.” He also expected a bigger effort from politicians at all levels to pay more attention to the potential of the bicycle.
Did the German market develop in the first half of 2022 as Burkhard Stork expected? On July 12, one day before the opening of Eurobike, ZIV will give an update on the latest market statistics which will be published on Bike Europe.