[Eurobike 2012] Luxury Bikes as Status Symbols9:37 am am June 25, 2012
Asia Bike is showing strong growth. China’s “little sister to EUROBIKE” was launched last year with 138 exhibitors, and according to industry insiders, this special trade show has made a big contribution to the emerging Asian market for high-end and sport bicycles within just one year. As the bicycle trade show is taking place at the same time as Asia Outdoor from July 26 to 29, 2012, organizers are expecting around 30,000 visitors in the Asia Bike halls. An extensive supporting program will make the trade show interesting for visitors on the public days too.
(Photo: Eurobike 2011)
Asia Bike is a joint project of German Messe Ltd. in Beijing (a cooperative subsidiary with Messe Friedrichshafen) and its trade show partners in Nanjing. The trade show has two days for trade visitors and two for the public. “The double trade show of Asia Bike and Asia Outdoor takes advantage of synergistic effects between the two industries, which are increasingly apparent in China too. As a result, many outdoor goods dealers in the Middle Kingdom are also selling sport bikes, and vice versa,” explains Klaus Wellmann, CEO of Messe Friedrichshafen. The second Asia Bike is expecting 230 exhibitors on 24,000 m², which is double the area of the first edition.
As exhibitor numbers grow, so does the quality. After the 2011 trade show already launched with true industry heavyweights such as Shimano, Specialized, Look, Merida, Cube, BMC, Cervelo and Focus, Asia Bike 2012 will continue expanding dramatically. New additions include amongst others: Bergamot, BH, Bianchi, Corratec, Mercedes Smart, Haibike, Staiger, Hercules, KTM, Pinarello and Wheeler. “That fact that 75 percent of exhibitors come from abroad shows how much the international bicycle industry is focusing on the emerging Chinese market for luxury and sport bikes,” says Knut Jaeger, chairman of the trade show in Nanjing.
Asia Bike 2012 is once again offering visitors an extensive supporting program, including a fashion show, forum discussions, press conferences and various workshops. Furthermore, the exhibition halls have two testing centers for road bikes and mountain bikes, with naturalistic tracks of soil, stones and grass. But the highlight is once again the “Show in the Show”, an exhibition of the sportiest, most luxurious and most expensive bicycles on the market. This year, exhibition organizers are estimating that the bicycles will have a total value of 7 8 million RMB (ca. 1 million euros). The trade show thus satisfies a particularly Chinese market segment: “Here, the buyers of high-end sport bikes are not so much the athletes, but rather high-income earners who want to do something for their health, having already satisfied basic needs such as a good education, a good job, a condo and a car,” says a market expert. “And whoever in China can afford a Mercedes, BMW or Porsche-Cayenne, would also naturally buy a bike to suit the image. In this case, the brand image is often more important than the bicycle’s function.” This has also been a focus of car manufacturers, who have shown increasing interest in China’s two-wheeled market.
Among the services of Asia Bike 2012 is the Business Matchmaking program. This was inspired by the fact that many foreign brands in this emerging market are still seeking distribution partners, or perhaps expanded production capacities in China. The Business Matchmaking service answers this need, with meeting points in the European Pavilion. This is a free service for all Asia Bike exhibitors.
Bicycle market developments in China
In contrast to the outdoor market, there are no reliable statistics for the bicycle market in China. This is especially true of the still-emerging sport bike segment. However, all market players have been talking about a boom in the last two or three years, reporting increases of over 30 percent. The best current indication of actual volumes can be found in the explosive growth of brand-carrying stores. For 2012, reports show Giant at over 2000 stores and Merida at 1000 stores. Trek and Specialized have also been reporting growth of 30 to 40 percent in 2011 and 2012.
The second Asia Bike takes place from July 26 to 29, 2012. Entrance also includes access to the Asia Outdoor trade show, happening at the same time. Further information at: www.asiabike-show.com.