PARIS, France (BRAIN)—French bicycle sales were flat last year at 3.53 million units, barely unchanged from a disappointing 2006 and still short of 2005’s 3.7 million, according to the annual report from the French industry association Tous á Velo.
Revenue from the overall market was up 5.5 percent to 1.43 billion euros ($2.1 billion at December 31 exchange rates). Bike sales accounted for slightly more than 60 percent of that, approximately 876 million euros ($1.28 billion), and accessories, parts and components generated the remainder. Independent French retailers garnered 23.5 percent of unit sales, unchanged from 2006, but raked in 52 percent of the revenues. Sporting goods chains captured 50 percent of the unit sales and 38 percent of revenues; mass merchants’ share dropped slightly to 26.5 percent of units and 10 percent of the euros. French manufacturing continued on its downward trend.
Tous á Velo pegged domestic production at 1.66 million units in 2005, 1.29 million in 2006, and 1.13 million in ’07. French builders exported about 226,000 units; the other 80 percent of their product went into the French market. Import numbers were down from 2.46 million in 2005 and 2.19 million in 2006 to 1.83 million last year. Electric bike sales nearly doubled to 10,000 units and are expected to increase. Mountain bikes, at 1.7 million units, slipped 5 percent but continued to dominate the market. Youths’ bikes (not including 120,000 BMX and 140,000 kids’ bikes) were next at 670,000, followed by city bikes at 230,000. Road bike sales went up 8 percent to 200,000 units.