The Austrian newspaper der Standard reported on September 21, 2018, that bicycle sales in Austria reached over 414,000 units in 2017, the highest number in the industry since 2010. Michael Nendwich, Managing Director for the Austrian Sporting Goods Industry Association (VSSÖ), points out that the recent growth in the Austrian bicycle market primarily stems from ‘e-bikes’. Last year for example, one bike in every three sold was an e-bike. This rate is expected to go beyond 50% within a few years and may even reach 70%.
Another winner in the ‘electrification’ of bicycles is Austria’s largest bike manufacturer, KTM Bike. The company’s turnover has doubled since 2010 to reach EUR 250 million, and its employee numbers have also grown from barely 100 employees to the current 450. E-bikes currently make up approximately 60% of KTM’s bike production. As market potential looks promising, KTM has increased its 2019 e-bike planned production numbers from 111,000 to 130,000 units.
‘Bespoke’ bikes are currently a niche product in Austria. However, promotions by the bike-lovers club ‘IG Fahrrad’, means there’s still room for future growth. The Club President says that currently, the price of a bespoke bike averages between EUR 3,000-5,000, but ordering a premium bike that costs EUR 15,000 is not unheard of either. Take ‘My Donkey’ - a wooden bike company - for instance. Company founder Christoph Fraundorfer is an architect who was too tall to ride a normal bike comfortably. He then came up with the idea to create personalized bikes, which evolved into an entrepreneurial concern for bespoke bicycle manufacturing. With environmental conservation in mind, Fraundorfer insists on making bike frames from top-quality wood. Fans who purchase ‘My Donkey’ bikes treat them as works of art, placing them in their living rooms for admiration. ‘My Donkey’ produces around 220 bikes per year.
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