But it’s becoming a Continent-wide phenomenon. More bikes were sold in Italy than cars — for the first time since World War II.
This prompted a closer look at the figures across the 27 member states of the European Union for both Cars and bicycles. However, new-car registrations for Cyprus and Malta weren’t available, so therefore they were taken out of the comparison.
Here’s what was found: Bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales last year in every one of those countries, except Belgium and Luxembourg. The top five countries by bicycle sales can be seen in the top chart.
Delving a little deeper into the figures, we can see which of these countries had the highest rates of bicycle-to-car ownership. Those states can be seen in the second chart.
So, what explains the numbers?
Parts of the data can be explained by the slump in car sales across Europe. Car sales reached a 20-year low earlier this year More recent figures showed they were recovering.
This decline coincided with the worldwide recession, which hit European economies particularly hard, though there are signs they may be recovering).
The U.S. has fared much better. Last month, car sales jumped to pre-recession levels. But U.S. automakers face another problem: Millennials aren’t interested in buying cars. Bike sales, on the other hand, are solid.
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