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Participants at the WBIA General Assembly discuss supply disruptions concerns and look ahead to 2022

The annual General Assembly of the World Bicycle Industry Association (WBIA) took place remotely on Wednesday 10 November 2021. WBIA consists of People for Bikes (USA), Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA), All India Cycle Manufacturers Association (AICMA) and the Bicycle and Motorcycle Industry Association of Russia (NADBM), Industry association of Mexico (ANAFABI) and Bicycle Association Japan and CONEBI (Europe).

The General Assembly discussed the global industry market outlook, with supply chain disruptions at the centre of the conversation. Worldwide, producers are facing major uncertainty due to costly and time-consuming shortages. After reaching record figures in 2020, the market continues to grow, but the supply of bicycles by far cannot match the consumer demand, leading to a slow-down in sales. At the same time, there is optimism that the elevated interest in cycling will continue in the upcoming years, with governments all around the world supporting initiatives and investments in cycling. “It has been a tough year for many producers both in Europe and globally, but the interest in cycling is as high as ever; we must do our best to keep the momentum going” said Erhard Büchel, president of WBIA and CONEBI, Europe. Gina Chang from TBA, Taiwan, added that “in Taiwan, the time of lockdowns is hopefully over, and we are working on several events promoting our members in the upcoming year. Smart manufacturing and smart cycling shall be the way forward in 2021.”

For WBIA, it was a remarkably intense year at the United Nations (UN). Importantly, a first-ever Pan-European Masterplan for Cycling Promotion was adopted in May 2021. WBIA was actively involved in the preparation of this historic document together with ECF and governmental stakeholders under the aegis of the UN and the WHO. Iliya Semenov from NADBM, Russia, commented: “We are delighted that Russia and other countries recognise the role of cycling in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Masterplan for Cycling Promotion implementation can directly contribute to the efforts by delivering social, environmental and economic benefits.” The document has a great potential to serve as a cycling advocacy and promotion playbook beyond the Pan-European region and for all WBIA members. “Best practices and policy recommendations on cycling development included in the Masterplan make it an excellent ready-to-use document, allowing governments worldwide to jump-start their cycling policies. In the past years, India has made a considerable progress in cycling promotion, but the task for the future is clear – implement the recommendations of the Masterplan globally,” said Onkar Singh Pahwa from AICMA, India.

WBIA has also participated in the development of new regulatory proposals for UN countries linked to the future of road safety in the field of automated and connected vehicle communication. For example, work on global technical regulations on equipping cars with an advanced emergency braking systems capable of detecting bicycles is underway, with implementation in some countries starting as soon as 2026. Blind spot information systems and proximity awareness systems regulations are also being either developed or improved, contributing to safer cycling experience. “The work done at the UN is vital for outlining the future of traffic safety; we have to make sure that the changes in vehicle regulations deliver benefits for cyclists everywhere,” said Shinji Hara from Bicycle Association Japan. “The intelligent transport systems development in the United States received a significant boost with the new $1 trillion Infrastructure Bill passed by the Congress in November 2021. We hope that the funding will help us make cycling safer and more accessible,” added Larry Pizzi from People for Bikes, United States.

Furthermore, WBIA has been involved in intensive discussions on personal mobility devices and road traffic safety happening at the UN level, with focus on potential global policies and regulations. The global mobility landscape is rapidly changing with new devices such as hover-boards and e-scooters becoming increasingly popular; the different regulatory frameworks for these new mobility devices should catch up with the developments. It is therefore crucial that a common forward-looking approach is negotiated, reflecting the shifts in mobility in a way that brings tangible benefits for everyone.

The WBIA workplan for 2022 is no less ambitious. Besides possible promotional activities linked to the Masterplan for Cycling, the members will work on a global market report, collecting market intelligence from the key markets. The report will be published annually, providing a comprehensive overview of the global bicycle market developments. Finally, WBIA will also produce a white paper on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); the document will serve as a comprehensive basis for future engagements with the UN and for continued road safety advocacy for cyclists and other vulnerable road users within the frame of ITS.

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WBIA General Assembly discusses global impact of COVID-19 and re-elects current president Erhard Büchel

Switzerland, October 5th 2020 – The annual General Assembly of the World Bicycle Industry Association (WBIA) took place via videocall on Wednesday September 30th. The WBIA members are CONEBI (Europe), People for Bikes (USA), Bicycle Association Japan, Taiwan Bicycle Association TBA, All India Cycle Manufacturers Association AICMA, the Bicycle and Motorcycle Industry Association of Russia – NADBM and the Industry association of Mexico ANAFABI.

The General Assembly agreed that the WBIA Secretariat will continue to be managed by the CONEBI Secretariat in 2021 and Mr. Erhard Büchel – current President of CONEBI – was confirmed President of WBIA as well. The WBIA General Assembly took the opportunity to discuss the impact COVID-19 on sales and production at global level as well as the WBIA work at the United Nations in Geneva.

COVID-19 has affected the Bicycle Industry worldwide: the negative impact at the beginning of the outbreak has been overturned by a remarkable growth in sales in each one of the countries represented by the WBIA Members. Governmental initiatives to support and promote Cycling have been introduced at fast pace while online sales have increased significantly as a result of the lockdown measures. Difficulties to meet the consumer demand were also pointed out.

2020 started with the publication of the United Nations report Transport Trends and Economics 2018-2019: Mobility as a Service (MaaS), that was co-authored by WBIA and presented officially to Transport Ministers from all over the world during the United Nations 2020 Inland Transport Committee (ITC) in February. The report is meant as a reference for all governments that are approaching the potential of digital platforms in boosting urban multimodal transportation and includes an entire chapter about the role of bike-sharing schemes.

The last few months have seen a particular attention by the United Nations to the topic of Micromobility and the safety of Personal Mobility Devices (i.e. segways, hoverboards, e-scooters): WBIA shared its position during a recent meeting of the Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety and raised its concerns to international Road Safety authorities with regard to their vehicle structural features. The United Nations are currently developing world guidelines with proposals about their usage as the attention by both media and national market surveillance bodies have so far indicated that a solution to the accidents that involve those vehicles must be found.

WBIA is also working on the future international regulations that will make Cycling Safer, with ongoing discussions with the Automotive industry on technical requirements to fit cars, buses and trucks with detection devices to avoid dooring accidents with cyclists, Blind Spot Information Systems and automatic braking in conditions of Vulnerable Road Users proximity under certain speed limits.

Last but not least, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Masterplan for Cycling Promotion is under development and will be officially presented at a High-Level meeting of national governments in Austria at the end of 2021: infrastructure mapping, best practices and policy recommendations are the core elements of a document that aims at being a comprehensive support to the overall Cycling advocacy.

WBIA Secretariat

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WBIA, member of the Green Healthy Sustainable Transport Task Force by World Health Organization and United Nations

Brussels, June 3rd – The WBIA has been invited to participate in a new taskforce of THE PEP (Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme) a joint body of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) to develop “Principles of Green and Healthy Sustainable Transport”.

COVID-19 is having a substantial impact on mobility patterns around the world. Social distancing and the recent studies showing a correlation between air pollution and the severity of COVID-19-related respiratory symptoms are bringing a growing number of citizens to switch to cycling – especially in urban areas: cities have now the possibility and the responsibility to restart in a manner that is conducive to a more efficient, green and sustainable framework.

The taskforce on Green and Healthy Sustainable Transport recommendations will comprise representatives of governments, international organizations, civil society, academia and other stakeholders, exploring long-term and strategic changes for the mobility sector. The aim is to have much more than just a document: the principles produced by the taskforce will be proposed for political endorsement to governments involved in the Fifth High-level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment to be held in Vienna in 2021.

Erhard Büchel CONEBI and WBIA President states: new bike lanes are starting to appear in cities across Europe. We call on governments to implement permanent solutions in this regard and foresee further incentive measures, for instance subsidy schemes for bicycle and e-bike purchase, like the one that has just been introduced in Italy. Cycling should become the new normal.

Satoshi Yuasa, Vice President of Bicycle Association Japan (BAJ), reinforces the message: More & more utilization of bicycles for work/commuting is surely contributing to health and the environment. The Japanese government has also initiated the action to use more bicycles for work and BAJ is preparing a campaign to promote this movement. We strongly believe that THE PEP Project is expanding the positive impact out of Europe too, of course including Japan.’’

“Today, an unprecedented number of Americans are experiencing the rewards of bicycling,”said Tim Blumenthal, President of PeopleForBikes. “They’re improving their physical and mental health, and they’re saving money as they travel safely and efficiently in a world shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re helping to reduce air pollution and address climate change. Now more than ever, bicycling is a multi-faceted solution that should be prioritized by government leaders around the globe.”

Iliya Semenov of the Russian Association for the Development of the Bicycle and Motorcycle Industry (NADBM) states: Russia fully supports green transportation initiatives. During the COVID-19 pandemic despite the lockdown across the country, we seea growing demand for bicycles.  Due to quarantine and personal precautionary measures many people will not be able to travel abroad or to far distances around Russia. So many Russians prefer to go to the local countryside, get involved in sporting activities and take care of their health and the health of their loved ones. And cycling is the best activity that can provide you enough sports load, lets you keep social distancing, gives you the joy of exploring your neighbourhoods and keeps families together.

Dr. K.B. Thakur, Secretary General of the All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association (AICMA) explains: “Man – made pressure on Mother Earth is going beyond its carrying capacity which is resulting in to disproportionate damage to environment and public health. As a partial correction, the global community should undertake a push-pull strategy to further the importance of the bicycle as a mode of transport because it is a green and healthy solutions. Under the aegis of the PEP taskforce, earnest efforts may be made to resolve common impediments in the way of resurgence of bicycles. India’s masses and classes stand to immensely benefit from greater bicycle usage “

 

The Task Force will meet virtually on a monthly basis and the work will be organized so that the first draft of the principles are discussed in November 2020. Further meetings, in the months after November 2020, will be set to finalize the principles.

WBIA and its members are committed to continue the advocacy for more sustainable mobility globally, working with national authorities and the world multilateral institutions to sustain the role of cycling as the best solution to the challenges that the world is currently facing: the recent article ‘’UN eyes bicycles as driver of post-COVID-19 green recovery’’ published by the United Nations’ Department of Global Communications is definitely an encouragement in such a direction but more has to be done in order to tackle the unsustainability of the car-centric culture we have been living in.

Source: Joerg Carstensen/dpa via AP

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Public Statement: COVID-19, Cycling and Bike Repair Shops

Switzerland, March 30th 2020 – WBIA and its member associations call upon governments worldwide to allow bicycle repair services to continue throughout the COVID-19 crisis, provided that all necessary health precautions are respected.

The World Bicycle Industry Association WBIA representing Bicycle, E-Bike, Parts & Accessories Industries worldwide believes that in the context of the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, the use of bicycles and pedal-assisted ebikes – always with total respect for official public health protection rules – should be encouraged.

On bicycles, people keep the required distance for avoiding infections. They are also much less likely to touch potentially contaminated objects in public space. To minimise the risk of infection, German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn therefore mentioned cycling to work as one of his recommendations to the population. On a more general note, regular physical activity like cycling helps to keep the cardiovascular system and the lungs healthy, preventing diseases and protecting the body from infections. Therefore, it is important that people can continue cycling throughout the crisis and are able to find help in case they need to have their bike repaired.

Fortunately, in most countries, the continued practice of cycling for necessary trips like going to work or grocery shopping is safeguarded because, bicycle repair shops can continue their operations even under the strict “lockdown” rules. However, in some countries bicycle repair shops are not allowed to open, even when they could do so in a way that minimises risks of infection.

Erhard Büchel, CONEBI and WBIA President: “Bicycle repair shops provide a basic service to the population and allow for risk-minimising mobility to continue where it is most necessary. Therefore, I deem they would need to stay open during these difficult times, of course in a way that protects the health both of employees and customers.”

Bicycle Association Japan stated: “Now the world is facing a terrible spread of the Coronavirus, times are uncertain affecting our families, friends, customers and everybody around us. Under these uncertain circumstances and with all respect for the public health protection guidelines, BAJ would like to continue promoting the use of bicycles as a sustainable and healthy alternative to other motorized methods of transportation and commuting. Cycling minimizes the risk of infections and is healthy for the human body.

People for Bikes’ President Tim Blumenthal: “People For Bikes recognizes the unprecedented challenge local, state and federal governments face in managing the spread of COVID-19. Our organization is working to support the bicycle industry in this difficult time by asking governments to consider every bike shop as an “essential business” and to allow bicycling, for transportation or recreation, to continue where appropriate. These decisions will provide many levels of economic relief to businesses. We are encouraged by the number of news stories we’ve read that address the increasingly significant and positive role bikes are playing in our daily lives. Many people are newly discovering how bikes are a great way to get where you need to go and also a wonderful form of recreation. As this occurs, we are doing everything we can to support all riders as well as bike businesses of all sizes and kinds.”

All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association (AICMA): “We support allowing bicycle repair services to continue throughout the COVID-19 crisis while taking into account the measures put in place by the Indian government. Considering India’s demography, its bicycle usage by millions of underprivileged classes and the current priority to prevent and protect them from COVID-19 having access to bike repair shops is crucial.

The Russian Association for the Development of the Bicycle and Motorcycle Industry (NADBM)explains: “Due to the epidemic situation Moscow decided to start the bike sharing season one month earlier than in the previous years. Based on the experience of other cities worldwide, the availability of bicycles reduces the number of passengers on public transport. Taken the epidemiological situation in consideration, this year bike sharing is more important than ever. In addition, operatorswill treat bikes with disinfectants and users are also advised to wipe the seat and handlebar with sanitizers.

European politicians Alessandra Moretti (Italy) and Ismail Ertug (Germany) agree with this proposition:

“First of all, we would like to say that we are deeply sympathetic to all those who have contracted the virus, and their families. We want to be close to them and we admire the work of doctors and nurses across Europe who are providing a courageous service of vital importance to the public health of millions of European citizens.


While fully respecting the different national travel laws in the Member States of the European Union, we believe that mobility for proven work and need should be addressed – where possible – in ways that allow for greater social distancing such as walking and cycling, noting that public transport presents some additional risks. For this reason, bicycle repair shops, with the necessary and appropriate health precautions, should be able to remain open to allow everyone to ride safely, thus favouring less risk of infection”.

Signatories

All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association (AICMA), India, Asia

Bicycle Association Japan (BAJ), Japan, Asia

Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI), Belgium, Europe

Mexican Association of Bicycle Manufacturers, A.C. (ANAFABI), Mexico, North America

People for Bikes (PFB), USA, North America

Russian Association for the Development of the Bicycle and Motorcycle Industry (NADBM), Russia, Asia

Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA), Taiwan, Republic of China, Asia

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Bike Industry Joins Discussion on Car Communication Regulations

Belgium, 22 March 2018 – It is not very common to link the use of cars with bicycles; however Manuel Marsilio, GM of the Confederation for the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI), was invited for a keynote speech at the symposium on the ‘Future Networked Car’ on March 8.

“Intelligent transport systems and automated driving are fast moving towards commercialization and market acceptance,” explained Manuel Marsilio who represented CONEBI as well as WBIA (World Bicycle Industry Association) at the symposium. “High levels of automation, the penultimate step to fully automated driving, are expected on the road by 2020 and hold great promises to improve road safety, reduce congestion and emissions, and increase the accessibility.” In his keynote speech he presented the opinion of the bicycle industry with regard to the ongoing policy and regulatory work at both European and international level as well as to give an overview of the work that such a sector is developing worldwide in terms of connectivity.

Interaction between cars and bicycles

The symposium on the Future Networked Car-2018 brought together representatives of vehicle manufacturers, the automotive and information and communication technology (ICT) industries and governments. They discussed the current status and future of vehicle communications and automated driving. “We know more and more that in the very near future, vehicles will interact directly both with each other and with the road infrastructure,” said Manuel Marsilio. “The future of mobility will be electrified, automated and connected: bicycles and e-bikes will play a major role in personal mobility, in recreation and in commercial transportation. They will be connected and will represent an important element of the Internet of Things ecosystem. In other words they will become ‘smart’. Bikes will foresee monitoring systems for real-time usage & sensor data, while WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and GPRS connections are going to offer the connectivity for next generations bikes and e-bike riders. From the security point of view, connectivity will provide users with theft alerts and geofencing.”

Connectivity

“To improve road safety, bicycles will have to communicate with the other vehicles as well as with the road infrastructure. This interaction will allow road users and traffic managers to coordinate their actions. Finally connectivity will significantly improve road safety and traffic efficiency by helping cyclists to take the right decisions and adapt to the traffic situations.

The bicycle industry already took some initiatives as Trek partnered with Tome and Ford to create an AI-based Bicycle-to-Vehicle communication system and Bosch has recently established a Division for Connected Mobility Services.”

Marsilio pointed out that: “Only three month ago CONEBI replied to a public consultation by the European Commission on ‘specifications for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems’ thanks to the support from industry experts coming of our national member associations. The 2016 EU Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems foresees the need to amend and supplement the ITS Directive 2010/40/EU for aspects where legal certainty is needed, through the preparation of a delegated regulation on C-ITS. It will focus on a list of services which are technologically mature, highly beneficial and ready for large scale deployment. Currently we are talking about the legal framework regarding, for example, safety on intersections, traffic signal priority and vehicle data.”

Published by Jan-Willem Van Schaik on 22 Mar 2018 on Bike Europe.
Also Bicle reported on this topic.

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Foundation World Bicycle Industry Association

Switzerland, 4 January 2018 – At the end of December 2017, the World Bicycle Industry Association – abbreviated as WBIA – was founded in Switzerland. The Bicycle Association Japan (BAJ), the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association based in the US (BPSA), the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and the Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA) are its founding members.

The WBIA is a non-profit association which represents the bicycle, e-bike and bicycle parts and accessories industry at global level. Its main purpose is to join forces and to actively participate in the technical meetings at the United Nations facility in Geneva. Here the different Working Parties of the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) discuss various technical matters such as safety, noise or lighting , that are important for the bicycle industry.

During its first General Assembly on 31st August 2017, the first Board of Directors and Treasurer of the WBIA was appointed:

  • President: CONEBI – Mr. René J. Takens
  • 1st Vice-President: BAJ – Mr. Satoshi Yuasa
  • 2nd Vice-President: BPSA – Mr. Larry Pizzi
  • Treasurer: TBA – Mr. Michael Tseng

As Mr. Erhard Büchel recently became CONEBI President, he is taking over the WBIA Presidency as well. The WBIA Board of Directors and Treasurer hold a 2 year mandate, during which they will manage the work of the WBIA and will be responsible for the press contacts in their respective region. The WBIA will be supported by the Secretariat of the association holding the Presidency, which will be CONEBI Secretariat for the first 2 years