Report on the economic sector of the bicycle in France

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For several years, the cycle has been back in the spotlight. It has many advantages: environmental, health, financial and is a real opportunity for industrialists and economic players in France.

Guillaume Gouffier-Cha, MP for Val-de-Marne, has submitted a report on the bicycle industry in France in which he details the current situation and the measures to be taken for its development. CARA Active Mobility received the report in November 2021 and organised a hearing, meetings with some of its members, and a reverse conference. This day gave rise to numerous discussions on the future of the cycling sector in France, and contributed to the drafting of this report.

Bicycle : a strong industrial challenge

For Guillaume Gouffier-Cha, the bicycle is a real industrial opportunity. The increase in the use of bicycles and the rise in the range of bicycles such as electrically assisted bicycles (EABs) and cargo bikes are opportunities that the industry must seize. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of EABs sold rose from 400,000 to 700,000 and it is expected that more than one million will be sold per year by 2025. For cargo bikes, the need is estimated at 300,000 by 2027. Nevertheless, the bicycle industry has made a mistake with a policy of de-industrialisation for almost 50 years. France has a strong history with the bicycle industry. This industry reached its peak in the 1970s and 1980s, only to fall into a situation of dependence on Asia. Currently, only 25% of the bicycles sold in France are assembled in France. Buoyed by the enthusiasm of the Made in France consumer, we must seize these new opportunities to reindustrialise the bicycle by trusting the players involved and passionate about it: historic players and new companies.

According to Guillaume Gouffier-Cha, MP, reindustrialisation is possible on several conditions. Firstly, it is essential to invest heavily in the development and modernisation of our factories and production tools, as well as in innovation to identify future technological breakthroughs in cycling.

Active mobility

Developing cooperation, exchanges and synergy between the various players in this sector is essential for developing partnerships for the production of components. The production of bicycles in France must be recognised through the introduction of a France Vélo label incorporating environmental, social and economic criteria. It is also important to structure a second-hand market. Lastly, training in the bicycle industry must be further developed in the industrial and service sectors.

Bicycle : other economic issues un diverse ecosystem

The industrial challenge is not the only economic issue in the development of the bicycle industry. The ecosystem is made up of various players, and also includes the service, repair, maintenance, cyclo-logistics, professional cyclo-mobility and bicycle tourism sectors. These sectors are expanding rapidly, with a potential creation of 100,000 jobs by 2050. The prospects for economic development are significant for the bicycle sector, but they remain conditional on the structuring of the sector, the creation of professional training for all the trades in the sector, and the development of cycling infrastructure, which is still largely inadequate in France.

One of the measures announced by Mr Guillaume Gouffier-Cha is the strengthening, acceleration and updating of the cycling plan with the creation of a sector committee bringing together all the economic players involved in cycling. 400 million per year is proposed, the aim of which is to accelerate the development of cycling infrastructure throughout France. Another measure proposed is to make VAT deductible for the purchase of bicycles for professionals.

It is important to continue the recognition of cycling by the public as a mode of transport, and not just as a leisure activity. To support these different sectors, local initiatives such as the Vélo Vallée cluster in Occitanie, CARA Active Mobility in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the Loire à vélo 2030, which is currently being created, are developing. Alongside these initiatives, Guillaume Gouffier-Cha proposes to launch a general meeting of the economic players in the cycling sector in the coming months.

Conclusion of the report on the economic sector of the bicycle in France

It is essential to remember the need to structure the bicycle sector and to encourage its economic development, which presents many opportunities. This sector must provide concrete alternatives to a mobility system that must be rethought in the face of the climate, social and geopolitical emergency. In the report by Mr Guillaume Gouffier-Cha, you can find out more about these issues and discover the proposals made.

For more information

Read the full report