2016 Sets Record for Car Imports

YERUSHALAYIM -
Imported cars in the port of Eilat. (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)

The totals are in, and it was an all-time record year for vehicle imports. A total of 286,728 vehicles were imported into the country in 2016, 12 percent more than in 2015, when 254,748 vehicles were brought into the country.

According to statistics presented by the organization of Israeli auto importers, a total of 1,004,019 vehicles on Israel’s roads are three years old or less. The glut of new imported vehicles has had an impact on the used-car market; prices for used cars are as much as 25 percent less than the official “Blue Book”-listed prices for vehicles.

In addition to used cars on the private market, numerous firms in Israel that lease vehicles to corporate fleets are trying to sell older stock, and have been offering attractive deals for “personal leasing,” in which buyers lease a late-model vehicle and either return it or pay it off after three years. Those vehicles then end up on the used-car market, further depressing prices, the importers said.

The top import nametag for 2016 was Hyundai, with 39,095 vehicles sold, 25 percent more than in 2015. In second place was Kia, with 38,069 vehicles sold, 13 percent more than the previous year. In third place was Toyota, which sold 30,040 vehicles, a 2.6-percent increase over the 2015 level. The biggest jump in sales belonged to Skoda, which, selling 19,511 vehicles in 2016, saw its sales jump 21 percent over the previous year. Rounding out the top five imported vehicles were those made by Mitsubishi, which sold 17,988 vehicles, 11 percent more than in 2015.