European Cycling Industry: Having A Hell Of A Ride

European Cycling Industry: Having A Hell Of A Ride

Giro

Budapest hosts Giro d’Italia, the second most prestigious cycling race in the world after Tour de France, for the first time ever in 2022. HIPA used the opportunity to hold a flagship event together with RCS Sport and the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) to shed light on what is shaping the industry in Europe and Hungary. Our high-level guests agreed that in spite of economic challenges there is a momentum that needs to be seized which promises more growth and sustainability.

Would you have guessed that there were some 4 million e-bikes on European roads as of 2020? As RCS Sport Managing Director Paolo Bellino admitted, he certainly would have been better off if he had taken one to get to the event. Sure enough, it is a more convenient means of transportation in gridlocked cities than cars, especially if you really need to make it somewhere on time.

With some luck, the number of e-bikes in Europe can hit the 18 mln mark by the end of the decade, but as Ton Abeek, CEO of e-bike market leader Accell Group noted, better infrastructure, more government subsidies and raising social awareness are all needed to make cycling an everyday mobility option.

The renowned speakers of the event shared the idea that e-bikes have the power to make cycling more appealing to the larger public.

The e-bike is a European baby, and we must make sure that the current favorable market conditions are preserved,

CONEBI President Erhard Büchel said.

Giro panel2

E-bikes have enormous potential to make cycling appealing to the larger public

Bosch, in turn, treats e-bikes as IoT tools that check the box for key digital economy features: they can be automated, connected and personalized.

Our in-house developed on-board computer together with our smart system offer a range of digital services to make your ride safer, more comfortable and more personalized. We redefined e-mobility,

said István Szászi, Representative of Bosch Group in Hungary and Adria Region.

Szászi István

Bosch redefined e-mobility by building smart e-bikes, István Szászi said

Bonnie Tu is Chairperson of the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturer, Giant that made 4.9 mln units globally in 2021. She joined the gathering virtually, and shared her vision of the fast-changing industry.

Europe is leading the way to make the bicycle a tool that solves environmental problems,

she stressed. Her company plays its part in this effort: Giant’s EUR 48 mln investment in Gyöngyös, Hungary will add 1 mln units to its global annual output soon.

Bonnie Tu

Giant Chairperson Bonnie Tu joined the event online and shared an optimistic view of the future of cycling

Ms. Tu expects boom to slow down, but growth to continue for a long time. Indeed, European sales are at an all-time high, close to 22 mln sold units in 2020, according to CONEBI. As Mr. Bellino added, there are huge opportunities for accessories and wearables as well, not to mention tourism which have the potential to generate lucrative revenues.

We need to get decision makers to be interested and make people aware of the benefits of cycling. This is momentum that we need to seize,

he said.

Bellino

Paolo Bellino (center) believes the industry needs to seize the momentum

The experts couldn’t emphasize enough the significance of shortening supply chains as today’s disruptions cause enormous damage. Reshoring can certainly help, but it is not expected any time soon that expenses would drop significantly, and things would go back to normal.

Ésik Róbert

HIPA guides bicycle manufacturing projects as well

Meanwhile HIPA does everything in its power to serve investor needs.

We have a number of policies in place in Hungary to support businesses that apply to bike manufacturing as well, of course,

HIPA CEO Róbert Ésik said. He also reminded that site selection, identifying financial tools, supplier development and policy advocacy are also part of the package the organization offers to clients who can enjoy a business-friendly climate.

Roche

Cycling legend Stephen Roche moderated the event

The organizers were honored to welcome Triple Crown Winner Stephen Roche as moderator of the event which means he won three major titles in the same season, namely in 1987: the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France and the UCI World Road Race Championship. Apart from him just one more person, Eddy Merckx can pride himself on being Triple Crown Winner in the whole world.

Rewatch the entire event now!