Knesset Seeks to Increase Competition in Car Business

YERUSHALAYIM -
Traffic at the entrance to highway no. 6. February 26, 2016. Photo by Chen Leopold/Flah90 *** Local Caption *** ëáéù 6 úðåòä
Traffic at the entrance to Israel’s Highway 6. (Chen Leopold/Flash90)

The Knesset Economics Committee has authorized for its second and third reading a law that would increase competition in the car business, by increasing the number of importers of vehicles and parts. According to Committee chairman MK Eitan Cabel, “we have gone much further in this matter than previous Knessets and even further than what the Transport Ministry sought. Our main objective is to increase competition and lower costs for consumers.”

Currently, most car manufacturers have a single importer who sets the prices of vehicles and parts. The new law will allow any importer to apply for a license to import vehicles directly from the manufacturer, as well as ease restrictions on the direct import of vehicles for consumers who purchase cars abroad.

Speaking at the meeting, Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said that the new law will “change the reality in Israel for anything related to the purchase of cars. It will reduce the cost of living regarding the number-two expense for families after housing. This is a historic day.

“The current situation, in which one importer is responsible for a vehicle’s import and service, makes for a non-competitive situation,” said Katz. “We want to enable other importers to enter the market and enable buyers to receive service from the official service centers of manufacturers.”