June 30, 2020 10:29
Demand for bicycles has spiked since the outbreak of coronavirus. The Korean bike industry, which had been suffering a downturn due to the availability of public rental bikes, received a welcome fillip.
Bikes have become a favorite means of exercise and transportation amid social distancing.
According to a report by Hana Bank in May, sales of bikes across the country increased 45 percent on-year in the first quarter. Normally, the first quarter of a year is the slowest season for bike sales because of cold weather and smog.
In fact, sales fell four percent in January, when the epidemic still had not made much of an impact, but they jumped 36 percent in February and 69 percent in March after the virus began to spread rapidly and people began to avoid public transportation.
E-bikes are especially popular with commuters. Their sales soared 34 percent on-year in the first quarter, according to Samchuly Bicycle, the largest bike maker in the country.
Samchuly, which suffered a loss of W5.2 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, posted an operating profit of W1.5 billion this first quarter (US$1=W1,201).
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