Bikes Outselling Cars in Europe

Germany Leads the Way

Bikes at the station in Cologne, Germany.     Photo: Flowizm/Flickr

Last week, we reported that Groningen, Netherlands, is the most bike-friendly city in the world. Turns out, the rest of Europe is pretty bike friendly, too. In 2012, NPR reports, bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales in 23 of the 27 member states of the European Union. 

The figures might even be higher than that, as data was not available for Cyprus and Malta. Germany had the highest number of bike sales (3.9 million), followed by Britain, France, Italy, and Spain. Belgium and Luxembourg were the only countries in which bicycle sales were not greater than car sales.

Unfortunately, the slump in car sales is likely due to the worldwide recession.

According to NPR, sales are picking up, though—slowly in Europe, and quickly across the pond. Americans purchased 1.5 million vehicles in August, up 17 percent from a year ago.

The National Bicycle Dealers Association, however, states that U.S. bike sales are “solid” (we know that’s the case in Washington, at least).

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