Speaking from the non-profit side of things (my organization is in bicycle advocacy) - it is unfair to say that there is no
charity from the Industry, but it is fair to say that it is neither consistent, reliable, nor is it always distributed in the most effective ways.
But the details of that statement are for another topic.
-The Industry *does* do *some* form of giving, whether directly to some more local (and more effective) organizations or to larger orgs (such as BikesBelong, among others).
-Not all of the Industry does charity work. Some (such as Saris) do MUCH, MUCH more in one fiscal year than other brands (... ahem... see OP's list) do in several years. That contradicts scale of gross/net sales between companies.
However, knowing the industry first hand:
-No, there is not a lot of money to be made in this business. It's really true. Bike shop owners are not rolling around in pools of money. Founders & Owners of the more famous brands are doing well, but they certainly are not exceedingly wealthy. Comfortable? Sure, but a small fraction of what another person in virtually any other industry might have achieved with several decades less toil.
-Pretty much everyone does it because they're passionate about it. ... Which is also why the job market is tough (if you're looking).
-They play to the market's actual scale...
On that latter part, Paniagua you may want to take a look at this thread:viewtopic.php?f=14&t=96468
You can see the issues of scale: The larger the market, the more quantities are sold, the lower the price can be made per unit. Even within one niche, such as Road, there will be less 'high end' builds sold, the majority will be middle to low-range. You need to mentally exclude WW from this topic - we all need to do that - because we are basically a niche within a niche within a niche.... a rare, beautiful niche that the Industry pays attention to, but in terms of sales we're quite small. The majority of buyers out there are not you nor I, they are the average person who likes bikes, rides often or wants to improve their riding - be it mountain, commuting, fitness, bmx, whatever.
Does this make sense?
|| Other projects in the works.