Swiss electric bicycle manufacturer Flyer has been in the business for more than 25 years now. As such, it’s safe to say that it’s one of the many established brands in the business. The Swiss company is best known for its high-end, high-performance electric bicycles which occupy the recreational space, while also offering models for the urban setting.
Despite its seemingly dominant position in the market, it seems that Flyer is facing some financial issues that make it evident that the company is in dire straits. Multiple reports by European cycling publications highlight that the company is on the cusp of mass layoffs, where discussions of letting go of 25-percent of its work force have come up.
Indeed, the demand for electric bicycles is growing across the globe, however, the needs of cyclists are changing. During the pandemic, people turned to cycling for mobility, recreation, and fitness. However, now that the world has mostly moved on from those times, people have gone back to their pre-pandemic routines. Nevertheless, the e-bike market varies from country to country, as other regions are heavily encouraging the use of e-bikes.
If we shift our focus to Flyer’s main market – its home country of Switzerland – we find that demand for the brand’s e-bikes have dropped significantly. German publication E-Bike News reported that Flyer’s sales plummeted by almost 50 percent in 2022. As such, 80 out of the 300 current employees of the brand are facing potential layoffs. It’s important to note that none of this is final just yet, as Flyer is reportedly currently working on a plan to fix the situation. Indeed, it appears that the dismissal of its employees is the company’s last option.
Recent times have shown us the struggles of multiple EV startups, particularly in the two-wheeled space. VanMoof, for example, fell from grace due to its overly complex tech and backlog of unrepaired bikes. Sondors, on the other hand, is in trouble due to a years-long list of undelivered orders. As for Flyer, it appears that the cause for concern is reduced demand for premium electric bicycles. Flyer’s bikes carry quite a high price tag, averaging around the 5,000-Euro ($5,300 USD) mark. The introduction of much more affordable bikes with similar tech and performance from other manufacturers may have had something to do with Flyer’s woes.