New openness at Bicycle Association

Thanks to the lobbying of two of the 'new boy' members of the Bicycle Association, the organisation is to compile a press release after each members meeting. Here's the first. Highlights? The sticky subject of Euro-wide consumer guarantees; the Harrogate show is now in profit and the latest info on sales in 2001 (they were 5 percent lower than in 2000).
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Legal and Technical

A draft of the new European standard for bicycles “for common use” is expected to be ready for circulation in October of this year. Drafts for new standards for MTB and Road Race bikes will follow. The BA’s technical representatives are taking an active part in the formulation of these standards.

After discussion of the EU directive on consumer guarantees, the members felt that UK implementation of its provisions would not have a significant affect on our industry. However several members reported a rising level of claims both in number and value. A report on the EU directive on product safety was also circulated. This will create a new legal requirement for producers and distributors to inform the authorities when they conclude that a product they supply is dangerous. Member states are obliged to implement this directive by 1 Jan 2003.

Campaigning and Promotion

National Bike Week event organizer packs have been circulated to the BA mailing list, including companies that are not members. All bike companies are urged to stage events for staff customers and suppliers.

It was agreed to investigate the possibility of mounting interactive bike exhibitions at non-bike consumer events during 2003.

Trade Shows

The Harrogate show is now in profit and further exhibitor applications are expected in the coming weeks.

Transport project

The collection of detailed statistics is about 60% complete. We expect to receive a firm proposal by the end of April.

State of the Market / Statistics

The first sets of member surveys have been collated. These show that although many members are reporting poor sales results for the last quarter of 2001, 75% of members are expecting sales volumes to increase in 2002 compared to 2001 albeit at reduced average selling prices. Most members are reporting a deteriorating debt position, with customers taking longer to settle their bills.


Customs statistics collated by the BA show that bike imports reduced 2.4 Million units in 2000 to 2.2Million in 2001. However in the same period the imports of frames increased from 1.1 Million to 1.4 Million. Exports of Bikes increased from 214,000 units at an average price of £77 to 267,000 units at an average price of £89.

There was some discussion about the extent to which these figures are distorted by the inclusion of small ‘pavement’ cycles usually classified as toys. Previous statements of market size have always tried to make an adjustment for the estimated 500,000 to 750,000 units included in the total import figures but there is no reliable source for this estimate.

The total figures for tariff code 871200300 (Bicycles not motorised) and 871491100 (Frames) supplied to the UK market over the past 3 years are as follows :

Bike Imports Frame Imports Bike Exports Net Supply

1999 2,247,409 940,933 232,454 2,955,888

2000 2,445,298 1.064,028 214,062 3,295,264

2001 2,203,322 1,397,091 267,204 3,333,209

Exports of frames are under 15,000 units p.a.

Industry consensus is that sales for 2001 were at least 5% lower than 2000, which suggests an increase in inventory January 2002 compared to January 2001.

AGM

The AGM of the Bicycle Association will be held on 24 April. All manufacturers importers and distributors will be invited to attend.

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