Bicycle sales outpace cars and trucks

SALES of bicycles outpaced those of motor vehicles in 2006, as more people turned to pedal-power to cut petrol bills.

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Published January 4, 2007 by The Sydney Morning Herald

AU — SALES of bicycles outpaced those of motor vehicles in 2006, as more people turned to pedal-power to cut petrol bills.

The industry-backed Cycling Promotion Fund said 1,273,781 new bikes were sold last year, significantly ahead of the 962,521 new cars and trucks bought.

A spokesman for the fund, Ian Christie, said Australians were increasingly using bikes as their preferred form of daily transport.

Mr Christie said sales rose 9 per cent last year as more people turned to bikes to cut petrol costs and boost their fitness.

"There is an emerging trend towards people using bikes as their official company-supplied vehicle in place of the traditional company car," he said.

"Some of Australia's biggest corporations now have bicycle fleets and when you add in government organisations, we now know of at least 50 organisations that operate fleets of bikes. Although the company bicycle is a long way from taking over from the company car, it's an important trend when you consider that nearly half of all cars sold are to company fleets."

He said sales records were set in all segments of the market, from children's bikes to high-end models, beating vehicle sales for the seventh consecutive year.

Their lead on car sales was extended by 300,000 – a sales edge that exceeds the total sales of the market leader, Toyota.