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UK bicycle exports at record high worth £72m to economy

Joe Robinson
22 Jan 2019

Findings show huge increase in bicycle exports with biggest growth in Asia

British bike exports were at a record high in 2018, accounting for £72.8 million towards the nation's economy. Figures released from the Department for International Trade showed that there had been a 16.1% increase in exports across the last five years with a particular increase in demand coming from Asia.

Analysis of the data from HMRC showed Asian nations had an appetite for British-built bikes with exports to China rising by 109%, to Taiwan by 200% and Malaysia by 724% in 2018.

In total, this saw bike exports to Asia and Oceania value at £10.8 million over the past 12 months.

Growth was not as rapid elsewhere although still rising. The United States only experienced a 7.8% increase in value during the same period although, still accounting to £5.1 million. 

Expansion of companies such as Pashley and Brompton have helped build this growth over the past five years with the former now exporting to 45 countries worldwide while also providing cycle hire bicycles to London and Edinburgh, and even the silver screen with the supply of bikes for the recent Mary Poppins Returns film.

Managing Director of Pashley, Adrian Williams, echoed the findings saying that global demand for its bikes had never been higher.

'Despite great changes in the bicycle manufacturing industry since Pashley’s inception, we have continued to focus on doing what we do best – designing and making quality hand-built bicycles for business and consumer use,' said Williams.

'Our product is design-led, hand-built and authentically British, making it particularly attractive to a growing overseas market. We currently provide cycles for both business and consumer markets in over 45 countries worldwide, including New Zealand, China, Finland and Denmark.'

Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, Baroness Fairhead, also commented on the figures correlating the success of British professional cycling with the financial gain of the manufacturing process.

'It’s fantastic to see that recent successes for British cycling on the road and track are translating into economic benefits, as we export both our passion for cycling and our manufacturing excellence overseas,' said Fairhead.

'The world increasingly looks to Britain for expertise in the cycling industry, whether in competitive racing, recreational pursuits or the daily commute to work.'

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