how Portugal has eaten the European market

  • 35

Portugal is the main bicycle manufacturer in the European Union. In 2019, it exported around 2.7 million of these vehicles, according to latest available data from Eurostatand in 2021 its exports in this segment reached a value of almost 600 million euros, according to the Portuguese National Association of Bicycle, Moped, Motorcycle and Accessories Manufacturers (Abimota). And a growing part of those sales is coming from electric bikes.

Electrics on the rise. Although the contribution of electric bicycles within the sector in Portugal is still relatively small, their figures do not stop growing. According to Abimota’s figuresIn July 2021, exports of this type of battery-powered vehicle reached 85 million euros in the accumulated figure for the last 12 months, the highest figure reached up to that time. The previous year revenues were 81.3 million euros.

In addition, the sale of Portuguese electric bicycles in 2021 has been spectacular, since it has increased by 100% each month, reaching 137% more in July (last month for which data was published) than in June.

Protectionism. The success of the Portuguese cycling industry is due to several factors. In the first place, the Portuguese manufacturers benefit from the anti-dumping tariffs that the European Union has maintained in force since 1993 on bicycles of non-EU origin, mainly Chinese.

Thanks to this protectionism, Chinese vehicles, much cheaper than those of Portugal, are taxed at up to 48.5% of their value at the borders of the Old Continent, which makes them no longer more competitive for their price. . In 2019, the European Union decided to also apply these tariffs to electric bicycles from the Asian country, with taxes of up to 79.3% of their value, according to Reuters.

These antidumping measures also apply to bicycles from other countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Cambodia, Pakistan or the Philippines, although the main affected by them, given the size of its industry, is China.

business union. Another factor that explains the rise of the cycling industry in Portugal is the project Portugal Bike Value, an initiative promoted by several of the main manufacturers in the country to develop the internationalization of Portuguese bicycles. Since the constitution of that union in 2015, the sector has tripled its production and has managed to unseat Italy as the main manufacturer on the Old Continent. In 2015 the value of bicycle exports from Portugal was 150 million euros, according to La Voz de Galicia.

This union has managed, in addition to coordinating efforts and collaborations, to highlight the value of the experience of the Portuguese cycling industry, which has enabled them to attract investment and new manufacturers that have sought to relocate to Europe as a result of the pandemic.

the coronavirus. And the pandemic has been, precisely, another of the factors that has given the definitive boost to this industry. Although its growth figures were already remarkable before March 2020, when Portugal had become the main manufacturer in Europe, the arrival of the coronavirus has made its figures mark record after record.

On the one hand, manufacturers assure that the arrival of the pandemic considerably increased the demand for bicycles, either because consumers saw it as a good way to practice sports while keeping a safe distance or because they preferred it as an alternative to public transport.

What electric bicycle to buy (2022): recommendations and 14 models from 500 to 3,000 euros

On the other hand, the difficulties that have been occurring since 2020 in the supply chain have caused many manufacturers and sellers to turn their eyes towards the Old Continent and have pulled European suppliers to solve shortages and delays. And there the Portugal Bike Value has managed to position itself, both to attract buyers and companies seeking to relocate their factories in the Old Continent, as explained by the New York Times.

Portuguese manufacturers. Currently, Portugal has 20 bicycle assembly companies, some 50 component manufacturers and around 90 that deal with technology associated with two-wheelers. In total, they generate almost 2,000 direct jobs and about 6,000 indirect jobs, according to Abimota.

They make for others. Despite these numbers, there are hardly any major Portuguese brands in the sector that are recognizable to consumers. This is because a large part of its production is for foreign companies that market it under their own trade names. For example, one of the largest manufacturers in Portugal, RTE, is a supplier to France’s Decathlon, and another, FJ Bikes Europe, is owned by Taiwan’s Fritz Jou Manufacturing, as reported by the BBC.

Image | Himiway Bikes

Portugal is the main bicycle manufacturer in the European Union. In 2019, it exported around 2.7 million of these vehicles,…

Portugal is the main bicycle manufacturer in the European Union. In 2019, it exported around 2.7 million of these vehicles,…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.