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Main | Vehicles | 12/19/2016

Import of Vehicles to Israel: January – September 2016

A substantial part of the worldwide vehicle production in recent years has moved to cheap labor countries, on the expense of the old industrial countries. That trend is well reflected in the vehicle import to Israel from January-September 2016, according to an analysis by Omer Sela, Automotive Sector Manager, Tel-Aviv Chamber of Commerce,  based on the statistics of the Ministry of Transport . Cars import to Israel is affected by the green taxation which provides tax incentives for low emissions

 Attached here a graphic presentation of the analysis.


  • The statistics on vehicle imports to Israel from January-September 2016, reveals an interesting picture. A significant portion of the imported vehicles arrive from countries that were not recognized as leading car manufacturers, while the import from reputable and industrialized countries has decreased.

  • In 2016, Europe supplied 48.4% of the imported vehicles from all sorts to Israel: 37.8% imported from East Asia and 10.2% of the imported vehicles were from Muslim countries such as Turkey and Morocco. Only 3.7% of the total vehicles, mainly heavy and commercial vehicles came from the U.S.

  • The import distribution above reflects mainly the import of passenger vehicles and taxis to Israel during this period: 48.3% from Europe, 36.9% from East Asia, 11.3% from Muslim countries (Turkey and Morocco) and only 3.5% from North America/

  • Import of vehicles to Israel from the U.S. which has actually invented mass production in the automotive industry, is marginal and almost non-existent although there are imports of American-owned brands.

  • There is significant access of vehicles from the pre-communist bloc, as well as Turkey and India where the production costs are low, on the expense of the traditional car manufacturers such as Germany, France, Italy, Belgium or Sweden.

  • The Czech Republic and Slovakia supply together almost 22% of all imported vehicles to Israel.

  • South Korea and Japan still supply almost a third of the imported vehicles in spite of the high production cost in these countries.

  • Import from Turkey does not reflect the tense diplomatic relations with this country.

  • Several countries with a significant automotive industry do not export to Israel at all - for example Brazil which in the past used to export some Fiat, Ford or Volkswagen models to Israel.

  • China does not play a major role in supplying cars to Israel, however that may change in the future.

  • It seems that Israeli consumers are more interested in the features of the vehicle, its brand, acquisition conditions and cost, and less in the country of origin.

  • Half of the vehicles imported to Israel are manufactured in the EU (of which 24% in the Euro Zone) whereas some 15-16% depend on the Yen or the Won and 11% on the Turkish Lira.

  • The buses import arena is controlled by European manufacturers (73.7%) yet there is access from China. Import from China may increase in the future, replacing chassis imports and bus assembly lines in Israel.

  • 45.5% of the new vehicles are in the range of 1301-1750 cc; 27% over 1750 cc and 27.6% are of 1300 capacity and less, with significant 5.8% share of under 1,000 cc – apparently due to new, efficient engines with small capacity as a result of the Green Taxation Policy, with preference to cost effective fuel consumption and technology improvement by the automotive industry.

  • Nonetheless, a large engine capacity is still in demand mainly because Israeli drivers prefer automatic vehicles and SUV's.

  • The prime preference of the consumer are Japanese vehicles 1750 -3000 cc (10.4%), Korean 1301-1750 cc (8.9%) and Turkish 1301-1750 cc (6.5%).

  • The Tax Authority claims that changing the taxation formula as expected on 1st January 2017 will reduce the amount of vehicles that are presently within the 2,3 and 4 categories, benefiting from The
    Green Taxation Policy.

  • The expected changes to the green taxation formula may increase the cost of popular vehicles - especially the small cars that are manufactured either in The Czech Republic, Slovakia, South Korea or

  • Constricting the green index may lead to excluding countries that manufacture heavy vehicles such as the U.S.

  • Presently China is not exporting a large quantity of vehicles to Israel. However there are signs of access of private cars, buses and two-wheel vehicles which could replace countries with low cost production such as Turkey, provided the Chinese manufacturers meet the progressive environmental standards.

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