WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—Imports dropped by more than 3.61 million units in 2009 as bike sales fell during the recession. Overall, importers brought in 14.84 million units last year, a drop of 20 percent from 2008 and the lowest number of bikes imported in a decade.
Not one bicycle category posted positive growth, with 24-inch and 26-inch categories showing the sharpest drop, falling 30 and 28 percent respectively. Hybrid and road imports, which had been substantially above 2008 levels for most of the year, ended down 53,632 units, or 4 percent as suppliers adjusted inventory late in the year.
Imports from China fell 20 percent to 3.47 million units. Imports from Taiwan fell 14 percent, driven mostly by big drops in the sidewalk, 20-inch and mountain bike categories. Imports of Taiwanese 700c bikes grew by 36,126 units over 2008 levels.
The average imported unit cost also fell by $3 last year, the first across the board price decrease in more than 10 years.