CONEBI and the WBIA mourn the loss of industry leader and President Erhard Büchel

Brussels, 15 May 2024 – It is with profound sorrow that CONEBI and the WBIA mourn the passing of Erhard Büchel, our esteemed President and leader in the global bicycle industry. Erhard peacefully passed away on 12 May at the age of 71. His passing represents a significant loss both in the industrial and associations communities, at all levels: he was a successful entrepreneur, a mentor, a friend, and a guiding light with his knowledge.

Erhard’s impact on the global bicycle industry is enormous. After joining his family-owned company Büchel GmbH & Co. Fahrzeugteilefabrik KG in 1976, he achieved a significant milestone in 1985 by creating the first joint venture in Shanghai to manufacture bicycle and automotive parts. Erhard expanded the company through acquisitions and joint ventures across Europe and Asia, solidifying the company’s position as a prominent player in the global industrial scenario.

Erhard left an indelible mark also in the associations at national, European and world level: from ZIV to COLIPED, CONEBI and WBIA. His lead and forward-looking mindset brought him to be President of CONEBI in 2017, endorsing the creation of the WBIA from the European side in
2016. During his tenure as our esteemed President, he embodied integrity, dedication, and unparalleled service, leaving behind a memorable impact. His visionary leadership, passion, and unwavering commitment have set a standard that will continue to resonate for the years to come.

Massimo Panzeri, CONEBI Board Member, stated: “Erhard was a brilliant, open-minded and forward-thinking person. He was a friend and an example of integrity and dedication. I feel very sad to have lost his vision and the possibility to share ideas of the future with him. He has led our industry through fantastic and also vey difficult years with dedication and intelligence. We have lost a real Man.”

Pedro Araujo, CONEBI Board Member, said: “Erhard will be missed for his dedication to our Industry. I feel gratitude for having crossed paths with him.”

Remco Tekstra, CONEBI Board Member, said: “Erhard represented the industry with passion. His passing will leave a void in the board of CONEBI, but his legacy will live on in the future.”

Taiwan Bicycle Association, WBIA Member, said: “We are deeply saddened to learn the passing of President Erhard, whose kindness and generosity had provided TBA the opportunities to work with WBIA closely. 

“It was our great loss to lose a remarkable leader and partner. We will miss him dearly. His tireless contributions for the industry will always be remembered and treasured.”

Bob Margevicius on behalf of PeopleForBikes, WBIA Member, stated: “Erhard Buchel was not just a leader, but a visionary, a mentor, and a friend. His passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to CONEBI and WBIA leaves an indelible mark on me, the bicycle industry, and all of us!

“Erhard inspired us with his humility, knowledge, diplomacy, and love of cycling. His leadership guided us through both industry challenges and triumphs. For this I am grateful for his contribution to mankind. His legacy will continue to resonate within industry as well as CONEBI and WBIA for years to come. Let’s honor Erhard by upholding his values while continuing to strive for excellence in all that we do.”

Yozo and Taizo Shimano as a member of Bicycle Association Japan, WBIA Member, said: “We are very sorry to hear of Erhard’s passing and extend our condolences.

“We would like to thank him for his contribution to the bicycle industry and pray for his soul.”

Aditya Munjal on behalf of All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association (AICMA), WBIA Member, stated: “AICMA convey its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and fans on the passing of Mr. Erhard Büchel – a visionary leader in the World Bicycle Industry. His legacy of proven leadership, craftsmanship and innovation will continue to inspire the bicycle fraternity worldwide. May his spirit ride in the wheels he set in motion.”

Beyond the professional sphere, Erhard’s warmth, empathy, and ability to connect with everyone he encountered won him a place in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him. CONEBI and WBIA will never forget his generosity in sharing his knowledge, inspiring future generations, and encouraging others to make a meaningful difference.

The associations extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.

For more information, please contact:

Manuel Marsilio, General Manager – CONEBI  

Alix Stamp, Communications, Media & Events Manager – CONEBI


WBIA launched its Sustainable Supply Chain Project at the 2024 Taipei Cycle Show focused on three principles – Education, Energy and Ecodesign

Taipei Cycle Show, 6 March – WBIA launched its Sustainable Supply Chain project to the Bicycle Industry at its high-level Sustainable Supply Chain Principles event at the 2024 Taipei Cycle Show on 6 March. The WBIA Sustainable Supply Chain Project is based on the WBIA 10 Sustainable Supply Chain Principles agreed upon by WBIA members during the 2023 Taipei Cycle Show. The event prioritised three of the ten key principles – Education, Energy, and Ecodesign – as tangible steps towards advancing sustainable practices in the bicycle industry at a global level. During the event, experts presented on the European Battery legislation and the Political Dimension of the Industrial Transition in Europe. In the panel discussion, representatives from leading companies shared practical examples of applying the WBIA principles from their work – whether it comes to clean energy, providing education in their supply chain or improved ecodesign and material use.

Erhard Büchel, CONEBI President, said: “I am happy to witness the realisation of the new WBIA Sustainable Supply Chain project. This project stands as a testament to our shared vision of a more sustainable and circular industry. It emphasises collaboration among companies across the globe to coordinate efforts towards this common goal. The industrial transition we all seek needs partnership, recognising the pivotal role each one plays in shaping the future of our industry.

“The WBIA 10 principles serve as our foundation, providing a framework for sustainable practices within our industry. While there are numerous commendable national and regional sustainability projects already in existence, the time has come to combine these efforts into a common global initiative. Through the WBIA SSC Project, we aim to do that, ensuring that our actions are coordinated and our impact maximised.” 

Robert Wu, Taiwan Bicycle Association and KMC Chairman, stated: “As a co-organiser of this event, TBA is proud to have been involved for the past two years. We have successfully launched the 10 principles that guide the entire bicycle industry towards a sustainable supply chain. We recognise the significance of our mission and understand how to integrate sustainability into our daily lives and actions. With only one earth and no backup plan, we must utilise the power of bicycles to protect and enhance the planet’s beauty and sustainability. We appreciate the WBIA for allowing us to co-organise and commit to supporting this event in the future.”

In the photo from left to right: Germaine Lesur, WBIA, Sustainability Director, Mathias Hierl, CONEBI & WBIA, Charlie Liu, Bicycling Alliance for Sustainability, Representative, Anke Schäffner, Zweirad-Industrie-Verband, (ZIV), Chief Policy Officer, Bob Margevicius, Specialized Bicycle Components, Executive Vice President, Robert Wu, Taiwan Bicycle Association and KMC, Chairman, Erhard Büchel, WBIA & CONEBI, President, Felix Jahn, Schwalbe, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sylvain Lemenand, Decathlon, Bike Components Purchase Leader, Tim Salatzki, Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV), Chief Technology Officer, Manuel Marsilio, CONEBI, General Manager

Missing from the photo are: Dr KB. Thakur, AICMA India Bicycle Industry Association, Secretary General, Arthur Wittouck, Decathlon, Sustainability Leader – Taiwan Production, Joel Demeritt, Trek Bicycle, Sustainability Engineer and Daniela Leveratto, WBIA, Technical Director

The event was opened by the WBIA and CONEBI President Erhard Büchel and TBA and KMC Chairman Robert Wu. The speakers included Bob Margevicius (Specialized), Dr. T.B. Thakur (AICMA India Bicycle Industry Association), Charlie Liu (Bicycling Alliance for Sustainability), Felix Jahn (Schwalbe), Sylvain Lemenand and Arthur Wittouck (Decathlon), Joel Demeritt (Trek), Anke Schäffner (ZIV), Tim Salatzki (ZIV), Germain Lesur (WBIA), Daniela Leveratto (WBIA); Manuel Marsilio and Mathias Hierl from the WBIA secretariat moderated.

The WBIA Sustainable Supply Chain Project is based on the WBIA 10 Sustainable Supply Chain Principles, prioritising the three principles – Education, Energy, and Ecodesign. The project aims to create awareness among stakeholders and assess the social compliance of members.
Additionally, the project strives to engage members in actively monitoring and reducing their energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, product evaluation plays a crucial role, with an emphasis on promoting the use of sustainable, long lasting, and repairable raw materials, considering their impact on the climate.

The project will move forward with the operational model and strategic validation during Eurobike 2024. This will be followed by the establishment of working groups and an evaluation of progress at the next Taipei Cycle Show.

The event was kindly co-organised with the Taiwan Bicycle Association, TAITRA, Bicycling Alliance for Sustainability and Cycling & Health Tech Industry R&D Center. 

You may find more photos from the event here.

For more information, please contact:

Manuel Marsilio, General Manager – CONEBI  

Alix Stamp, Communications, Media & Events Manager – CONEBI