Euro Crisis

Bike Sales Outpace Auto Sales in Italy For First Time Since WW2

Recession is causing Europeans to trade in their cars for bicycles.

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Italy is home to Ferrari and Lamborghini, two of the world's most legendary automakers. But the country's troubled economy has forced an increasing number of Italians to downside the number of wheels on their vehicles: For the first time since World War II, sales of bicycles surpassed those of cars in Italy. 

U.K. newspaper the Telegraph reports, "1,750,000 bikes were bought in 2011 compared to 1,748,000 motor vehicles." This is a big switch for a country that the Economist reported in 2009 had the fourth-highest rate of car ownership rates in the world. (Despite our love affair with cars, the United States came in 16th in the magazine's ranking by country.)