Giant signs up to European Cyclists' Federation advocacy efforts to unlock €6 billion EU funding

News announced at Advocacy Summit at Eurobike yesterday

by Simon_MacMichael   August 31, 2012  

Kevin Mayne talking at the 2012 Advocacy Summit (picture courtesy ECF)

The European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) has announced that Taiwan-based bicycle manufacturer Giant has joined its Cycling Industry Club (CIC), pledging €100,000 a year for the next three years to help support the ECF’s advocacy efforts. The organisation says that up €6 billion in European Union (EU) funding could be secured in the coming years, helping to double the number of cyclists in the EU and leading to more sales of bikes.

As well as Giant, the Taiwanese Bicycle Exporters Association (TBEA) has also signed up to CIC, launched at Eurobike last year, as has Italian trade body, the ANCMA. TBEA will be contributing €50,000 a year over a three year period.

CIC has now reached two thirds of the €1 million fundraising target it had when it was set up last year, with members including SRAM, whose president Stan Day, told the summit that he had been successful in gaining support from other US-based companies, including Cannondale and Specialized.

“Giant has decided to say we’re in. We’ve joined the club,” explained  Tony Lo, CEO of Giant Bicycles. “It’s our obligation to join forces with all of you to see how we can make cycling more popular in Europe. We want to have more people cycling.”

News of the latest members of the CIC was announced at an Advocacy Summit organised by the ECF yesterday at Eurobike, and more companies are being urged to sign up in the belief that the stronger advocacy efforts are, the more people will ride bikes, and for the companies, that will translate into more sales.

“As an industry we have to make investments for the future. Joining this club is important if we want to get more people on bicycles,” explained Rene Takens, CEO of Accell Group and president of pan-European trade body COLIBI.

“And we know that if we get more people on the bicycles than we get more people buying bicycle parts and new bicycles,” he added.

Quoted on BikeBiz, the ECF’s director of development Kevin Mayne, who joined the organisation from CTC earlier this year, outlined how money raised from the industry for advocacy could be used to unlock EU funding of up to €6 billion.

“The EU will welcome any economic arguments put to it and cycling is being listened to because it brings clear economic benefits. The EU tells us the reason there’s no cycling money for some countries was because it wasn’t being asked for,” he explained.

“The healthiest bike markets are not built on leisure mountain biking, they are built on transport bikes. We have studied EU wide figures for transport cycling and confirmed that countries with the highest transport cycling buy the most bikes.”
He concluded: “Advocacy leads to sales.”