Car Market Remains Strong in First Quarter

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

The Israeli car market maintained its strength in the first quarter of 2018, statistics from Israel Vehicle Importers Organization showed. A total of 29,037 vehicles were delivered to purchasers in March alone, an increase of 3 percent over March 2017. Altogether, 94,340 vehicles were delivered in the first three months of 2018, 4.3-percent fewer than the same period a year ago.

The most popular vehicle nameplate sold in Israel in the first quarter was Hyundai, with 14,898 vehicles delivered to buyers, 3.8-fewer than during the same period in 2017. Kia was the second most popular, with 11,382 vehicles delivered, a drop of 1 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a year earlier. Third place was taken by Toyota, with 9,872 vehicles, 4-percent fewer than a year earlier. For the first time, a hybrid vehicle was the most sold during the quarter – the Hyundai Ionic, with 4,149 vehicles delivered.

Industry experts had predicted a sharp drop in car sales in the beginning of 2018, but told Globes that the continuing stability of the market appeared to be due to the continued strength of the shekel, which makes vehicles cheaper in shekel terms. The market was retaining its strength despite a marked reduction in purchases by fleets and leasing companies, the experts said.