WBIA General Assembly 2022 Update

At the end of October, the World Bicycle Industry Association held their General Assembly remotely, where delegates shared expertise on topics ranging from the global market to updates in their respective countries.

The global bicycle industry has continued to grow throughout 2021 and 2022, albeit at a slower pace recently, following a record year in 2020 which was boosted by the Covid pandemic.

The supply chain issues that were a major concern at the previous assembly are ongoing, but many manufacturers have refilled their stocks in expectation of increased customer demand. They expect that the market will rebalance itself next year with growth easing off slightly due to external factors.

WBIA president Erhard Büchel had this to say on the matter: “We know that the next year might be difficult for the bicycle industry with the energy crisis and a challenging geopolitical situation. However, we see tremendous interest in cycling - and that will not disappear. I am therefore very optimistic about the prospects of the bicycle industry.”

Commenting on the US market specifically, Larry Pizzi, from the Board of Directors of People for Bikes said: “Even though unit sales have plateaued in the past year, we see the market value being strong. Importantly, cycling participation in the US remains elevated over the pre-pandemic level. Once people discover cycling there is no way back.”

The United Nations has had yet another busy year working with the WBIA, where topics such as biking infrastructure across Europe, and boosting bike usage for health benefits has been openly discussed. They have also tried to agree on a standard set of signs and signals that cyclists can use on biking infrastructure across the world - further boosting the public’s safety awareness for bike users.

The WBIA are in constant discussions about new rules and regulations focusing on cross vehicle communication, especially for VRU safety (Vulnerable Road Users - such as pedestrians, cyclists, e-bikes, e-scooters, etc.). The development of advanced technology for automatic braking systems and blind spot detection in cars and trucks could greatly benefit the safety of cyclists everywhere.

The bicycle industry is dynamically developing – and it is as important as ever to look for global regulatory solutions. It is great to know that WBIA is at the table at the UN, representing our voice and making sure that the future rules are favourable for further growth of the industry,” said Iliya Semenov from the board of NADBM.

The future of green micromobility was also on the discussion table, promoting the important role cycling has in achieving the global sustainable development goals moving forward, and how the WBIA can help.

Rajagopal U. the AICMA President said: “There is a tectonic shift in mobility coming up with more green and e-mobility solutions, in India and beyond. With an emerging economy and an extraordinarily young demographics, Indians are bound to embrace even more cycling; we can be confident about the future of the bicycle industry.”

Delegates agreed that the next WBIA General Assembly will be held in person at Eurobike 2023, at Eurobike’s new location in Frankfurt. Gina Chang, Secretary General for the Taiwan Bicycle Association said: “We are already looking forward to meeting with colleagues from the WBIA in person. In our work as TBA, we know that physical trade show gatherings of industry are still important to experience the vibe within a sector. After the two long years of lockdowns, it’s time for us to exchange and celebrate the work of the association together.”

The WBIA is currently made of delegates from People for Bikes (USA), Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA), All India Cycle Manufacturers Association (AICMA), the Bicycle and Motorcycle Industry Association of Russia (NADBM), Industry association of Mexico (ANAFABI), Bicycle Association Japan (BAJ) and CONEBI (Europe).

The WBIA was founded in December 2017 with its members being from bicycle industry associations from across the world. The WBIA represents the bicycle, e-bike and parts and accessories industries before global intergovernmental institutions.