Wheel Giant reached out to Bernhard Lange, chairman of Paul Lange. Relying upon him to bestow his valuable opinion and state of the bicycle industry and market in Germany. Also helping us understand the demand for bike growth amid the pandemic, especially in Europe. Which are producing outstanding results amid an otherwise crumbling market.
According to Germany's Two Wheel Industry Association ZIV, Lange states that bicycle sales rose by 17% in 2020. Meanwhile, production output in Germany amounted to 2.15 million bicycles, an 11% growth compared to the year prior in 2019. Additionally, e-bikes rose at 43%, more than double the rate of stationary bicycles. Although there was already an e-bike growth prior to Covid-19, services and maintaining bicycles will become a growing important part of the industry. Lange says similar growth in numbers is expected for 2021.
Lange states that before the pandemic, Paul Lange began extending their program output by increasing distribution capabilities. However, as many know, the bike industry has grown extensively in the past 14 months. Luckily, Lange says his team anticipated this growth and was ready when sales suddenly boomed. Lange’s group invested in new IT systems, warehouses, and other logistical means, preparing for increased distribution this coming year.
Lange also notes the reason for bicycles' growing popularity. The first being a desire for social distance. A luxury not afforded on public transportation. Secondly, cycling became an activity that could be enjoyed with few restrictions nor risks. Lastly, many people took to bikes for running their errands, commuting to and from work, and safely enjoying leisure activities. Lange notes these reasons for the boom in sales, and also credits the discussion of climate change.
Lange believes the desire to reduce CO2 emissions contributes to the growth and importance of bicycling. Many countries in Europe and Latin America are becoming leaders in their commitment to a cleaner world. Lange comments on cities around the globe using their commitment to “literally pave the way for cycling”. For example, London has pledged to increase bike safety and infrastructure 10 times until 2030. Along with other federal, state, and city levels is an increased budget solely for improving the bicycle lifestyle.
Though Europe is currently experiencing its third wave of COVID-19, the cases are dropping exponentially. Simultaneously, the rate of vaccinated individuals is growing daily. Of course, precautions and safety measures are still taking place, with no exception to the Paul Lange company. Lange states that in July members of the company will have the opportunity to be vaccinated by their company doctor as well. Lange states their team has been blessed with being able to social distance, splitting work teams into warehouses, and having access to hygiene products as well.