The Accel Group, manufacturers of among others Batavus, Koga-Miyata and Hercules bicycles, forecast a 15 per cent increase in net profit for this year in comparison to 2007. Takens attributes these figures to the rise in petrol prices earlier this year and the growth of the ageing population. Electric bikes in particular turned out to be best-sellers. Takens also notices ‘an increasing awareness of sustainability and CO2 reduction, both with authorities and consumers’, benefiting bicycle manufacturers. Other bicycle manufacturers demonstrate good figures as well, particularly in the ‘quality segment’ of the market. Dahon, manufacturer of folding bikes, reports probably 30 per cent more sales in 2008 in comparison to 2007. Dahon is of old strong in Europe and the US, but particularly in Asia business is booming. Increasingly Asian countries consider the bicycle to be a solution and invest in bicycle infrastructure. Dahon expects to be relatively untouched by the credit crunch. “We are fortunate to be in an industry that offers consumers an environmentally sound product that people are finding ever more relevant in economically trying times,” stated president David Hon of Dahon in Bike Europe.