European bicycle industry anticipating ‘back to business’

DOETINCHEM, the Netherlands - Across Europe, countries are taking small steps forwards in reopening their industries. Time to evaluate what impact closures have had on the bicycle supply chain and supported businesses. What steps are European companies now taking and what impact has so far been felt?

Accell Group – “We are on it!” On March 26, Accell Group announced that bicycle production would be reduced by 70% due to the Corona crisis. Yesterday, Accell Group spokeswomen Debbie de Wagenaar confirmed, “our employees at our production locations in Heerenveen, the Netherlands and Hunland, Hungary have worked very hard recently, so that the locations could remain open, taking all safety measures into account, to be able to supply sold bicycles to dealers and customers. Including bicycles intended for employees in the vital sectors. We are adapting our production capacity flexibly depending on the current situation and the increasing opening of the market. We are on it!” 

Pon Bike Group – “Hopeful that we’ve reached turning point” Pon Bike Group’s second factory in Europe, Derby Cycle in Cloppenburg, Germany halted its production. However, the opening of the bicycle shops in Germany on 20 April was no reason for Derby Cycle to restart its production instantly. “We have decided to extend the restricted operation with production stop and short-time work by two weeks until 30 April,” explained Derby Cycle spokesman Arne Sudhoff. “However, the declaration by the German government to allow the opening of bicycle shops gives us all a lot of hope that we have reached the turning point and that the industry can start up slowly again.” Riese & Muller – “No problems in supply chain” “We never had to shut-down our production and had no delivery delays caused by the Corona pandemic,” said Riese & Muller spokeswomen Julia Werling, speaking after the reopening of bicycle retailers in Germany this week. “We are really lucky that the shops are open again and will work hard to deliver everything on short notice. Due to a slightly lower demand in Southern European countries like Italy, Spain and France where the lockdown measures are much stricter we reduced our output slightly. At no point have we had problems in the supply chain as we were able to plan properly, cooperate with our suppliers accordingly and anticipated quickly. We have taken up full production again and are able to produce at full capacity.” Flyer – “100% production will resume soon” Swiss ebike producer, FLYER AG, cut back its production over the past few weeks with two teams operating at alternate times. Production and delivery have continued throughout the lockdown. “Many retailers have continued to accept deliveries and are very creative in contactless selling. With specialists in Austria and Germany now largely open again for sales and wih the prospect of Switzerland loosening restrictions in the next few weeks, FLYER will start 100% production again from this Monday,” company spokesperson, Anja Knaus confirmed.

World Health Organization (WHO) – “Consider riding bicycles” The World health Organisation has been advocating riding bicycles during the COVID-19 outbreak. In a recently released technical guidance it stated ‘’Whenever feasible, consider riding bicycles or walking’’.  World cities are now turning the