Courtesy of NPR
NPR Car and Bicycle Sales in Europe
After discovering that bicycles were outselling cars in Spain, NPR decided to dig a little deeper and find out how bike and car sales compared throughout the rest of Europe:
Here's what we found: Bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales last year in every one of those countries, except Belgium and Luxembourg.
In addition, The Times is reporting that bicycle sales are also outnumbering car sales in the UK:
In 2012, 3.6 million bicycles were sold in Britain compared with 2 million cars.
NPR explained that this trend is related to a sharp decline in new automobile sales since the worldwide recession. And while there are signs of car sales increasing, European car sales reached an 20-year low earlier in 2013.
Stateside, the US Bicycle Market 2012 report prepared for the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) by the Gluskin Townley Group, suggests bicycle unit sales in 2012 at 18.7 million. A reported 14.5 million motor vehicles were sold in the US in 2012.
While these numbers are certainly impressive, how people are using their bicycle purchases must also be considered. According to NBDA, in the US, while bicycling for transportation is on the rise, recreation still rules:
However, bicycles and related products continue to appeal primarily to a recreation market in the United States. NBDA research conducted by the Bicycle Market Research Institute in 2006 reported that 73% of adult cyclists rode for recreation, 53% for fitness, 10% for commuting, 8% racing and 6% sport. The figures add up to more than 100% because some ride in multiple ways.
How can cities help encourage people to ride their bikes more often and for more purposes? According to the League of American Bicyclists, by providing better facilities for people on bikes including protected bike lanes, bicycle parking, and bike share systems:
Since 2000, bicycle commuting rates in large Bicycle Friendly Communities increased 80 percent – far above the national average of 47 percent.
What do you think; How can cities encourage people to ride their bicycles for more trips?