The e-bike industry in Switzerland saw significant growth in the first half of 2021, where imports of e-bikes rose by 16.5 percent and bicycles sales grew up 8.9 percent. In addition to sales increasing, exports increased as well. Despite the high increase in sales, many factories are cutting back on production, or fully stopping due to the shortage of bicycle parts.
The evidence of unprecedented bike sales in countries like Switzerland, which have long winters, usually end up with a decrease in bike sales. However, the first half of 2021 saw the opposite effect. The bicycle industry used the shortage of sales during winter months to catch up on the long back order and repairs. It was noted that some of the backlogs were even traced back to 2020. Figures show that compared to last year, more deliveries were made.
Customs administration also shows a significant increase in bicycle exports and imports. E-bikes saw a rise of +15,6% in sales, 37,000 units, and bicycles saw a rise of +29.6% or 35,000 units. Specifically, e-bike imports increased from 95,416 units to 111,105 in just the first half of the year. An increase that accounted for the whole of 2018. As far as bicycles are concerned, figures increased from 186,404 to 200,861 units.
Despite this major increase in production, manufacturers are having to accept the long pre-order times. Companies such as Shimano, Sram, DT Swiss, Suntour, Schwalbe, Maxxis, and Fox are reportedly splitting their production so the bicycle market as a whole doesn’t come to a standstill while trying to deliver to a few major customers. All the above-mentioned companies are producers of brakes, gears, suspensions, wheels, and tires, which are of course all major components of what makes up a bicycle.
Although companies are dispersing the load of production among one another, there continues to be a shortage of packing materials, containers, and freight and port capacities due to Asia’s severely restricted access to container ports. These lead to uncertain delivery dates and transportation costs as companies around the world are fighting for sparse shipping space. Flyer Bikes has even taken a two-week company-wide holiday for the first time in their history, despite having a book of full orders. Customers are advised to plan their purchase of e-bike or bikes far ahead and choose a model already in stock. Also, one should expect a delayed delivery due to the limited circumstances of the industry.