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Crisis? Dutch Keep on Buying Expensive e-Bikes!

BREDA, The Netherlands ¨C The economic crisis is not hampering the sale of e-Bikes in The Netherlands. Despite an average retail price of € 1,900 per electric bike the Dutch keep on buying the pedal assisted bicycles in record-breaking numbers. During the first three quarters of 2008 sales were up by 52% in value and 35% in volume.
The Dutch Dealer association BOVAG  announced these statistics at its yearly Congress that was held yesterday. With the 35% rise in quantity during the first nine months of 2008, the BOVAG confirmed its earlier expectations that for the whole of 2008 the sale of e-Bikes in the Netherlands will end at 120,000 units and a share of the total bicycle market of about 10%. For the whole of 2007 e-Bike sales stood at 89,000 units (45,000 was the total 2006 number).

The money maker in every bike shop

In terms of turnover e-Bikes scored an even bigger increase. With this 52% plus in value electric bicycles in Holland are growing into the dominant money maker in every bike shop. The Dutch Dealer association said yesterday that e-Bikes currently account for 29% of the turnover made in the whole Dutch two-wheeler sector that next to the sale of new bikes and P&A also includes the sale of mopeds and scooters.
The BOVAG statistics did not mention which brands were the best sellers last year. However, Sparta (part of the Accell Group) is widely recognized as the leading e-Bike brand in Holland which thanks to its big share of the Dutch market, is also leading on the European e-Bike market. The ION (photo) with the batteries mounted in the down tube is Sparta¡¯s most popular model.
Because of the boom in e-Bikes the sale of regular bikes in the 700 to 900 euro (retail) price bracket suffered in 2008. However, cheaper prices bikes in the 500 to 700 euro segment managed to increase in market share.
The BOVAG also stated that dealers increased their share in bike sales to 81% (was 75%). In terms of value the Dutch specialist trade controlled an even bigger share of the market ¨C 91% which was 88% during the first nine months of 2007.