11 Apr 2022

Revenues up, employment up, investments back on track, much less call on governments for financial support. That is the robust health of the cycling sector at the end of 2021, moving on from the roller-coaster ride of 2020.

Cycling Industries Europe has provided regular health-checks on the state of the industry since the beginning of the COVID pandemic which have become the go-to resource for companies and EU officials to get an overall picture of the state of the cycling sector.

Based on company submissions made in March 2022 CIE is now reporting our overview of 2021, with comparisons to 2020 and pre-pandemic years. Overall the picture is extremely positive, with companies taking on new staff growing from 53% to 77% and increased investments in most business areas.

There are two notes of caution emerging which will be watched carefully for 2022. Unsurprisingly the number 1 issue is supply chain challenges, with 86% of companies reporting continuing problems and little confidence that the situation will be resolved in 2022. The most noticeable change in the cause of delay was a 27% increase in electrical components shortages, linked to global delays in the microchip supply chain.

More calm has come to consumer demand expectations, compared to the euphoric position at the end of 2020. At the end of 2020 76% of companies were “very confident” and 18% “confident” about consumer demand. At the end of 2021 90% of companies overall were still confident, but breakdown shows that “very confident” has reduced to 34%, with 56% just “confident”. This result matches other announcements in the sector that 2021 bicycles sales have dipped below the extraordinary levels of 2020, but continue ahead of 2019 numbers in many sectors, but the level of growth is variable.

Unsurprisingly the areas for new investments in 2022 are led by capacity increases, European production and staff acquisition, followed by product development. And product designers will be pleased to hear that their skills are in demand, with 73% of companies planning new recruitment in this area.

CIE Chief Executive Kevin Mayne said “Today the cycling industries of Europe are one of the most positive segments of European industry and that shows in the positive news about revenues and investments in our sector. However we must not be complacent, the severe impacts of supply chain pressures are dampening demand and we are in a competitive fight with other industries and other parts of the world to secure raw materials, components and shipping. We will be using the information from our business survey to tell the EU institutions about our members’ opportunities and needs. Microchips and batteries are good examples of where one industry like automotive can suck up resources which put other successful European industries at risk, therefore we need to be part of EU strategies for supporting future supply.“

CIE’s Summit on 12th May in Brussels and a special Members’ Day on 11th May will be tackling the opportunities and challenges that emerge from this study and CIE’s Strategic Plan for the next few years. EU policy makers and company leaders will give greater insights into the opportunities for the industry and how EU policies can support industrial transitions.

Extracted highlights of the latest CIE Business Impact Survey can be found here, with CIE members able to get additional information through CIE’s Market Impact and Intelligence Expert Group.

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