Cars crucial for Israeli-Turkish economic ties

Sales in automobile industry heading for all-time annual high.

By DUBI BEN-GEDALYAHU/GLOBES
September 4, 2011 22:28
2 minute read.
Hyundai makes cars in Turkey.

Hyundai 311. (photo credit: mct)

Israelis bought 16,400 Turkish- made cars from January to August in 2011, worth an estimated NIS 1.64 billion. A large part of Japanese, Korean, and European car models are actually built in Turkey.

These cars account for 10.1 percent of all car and commercial vehicles sales in Israel, and make the country one of the Turkish car industry’s main export markets.

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Turkish-built models in Israel are the Honda Civic, Toyota Yaris, Toyota Verso, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai I20, Renault Cleo, Renault Fluence and Fluence ZE (the electric car for Better Place LLC), Citroen Berlingo van, Fiat Doblo truck, and Ford Connect transit van.

The drop in private consumption, upheaval on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and security incidents did not affect car sales in August. 19,932 new vehicles were delivered in August, 7% more than in August 2010.

162,302 new vehicles were delivered from January to August, 14% more than in the corresponding months of last year, and sales are heading for an all-time annual high.

Three of the top five brands in Israel are Korean, because prices are listed in dollars.

Hyundai is the top-seller, with 23,330 deliveries in January- August, up 18.3% from the corresponding months.

Mazda, whose prices are listed in yen, which is appreciating strongly, is in second place, with 17,286 deliveries in January-August, down 18% compared with the corresponding months. Toyota is in third place with 14,145 deliveries, down 3%; Kia Motors is in fourth place with 10,810 deliveries, up 101%; and Chevrolet is in fifth place with 10,425 deliveries, up 50%.

In a related story, Porsche importer Automotive Equipment Ltd. has acquired MAN trucks and buses import business from the Consolidated Company for the Near East Ltd. for NIS 130 million. Germany’s MAN SE is one of Europe’s largest truck and bus manufacturers. It has a 28% share of the Israeli bus and minibus market and 10% of the mid-sized and large truck market.

Israel imported 700 MAN trucks and buses in 2010, worth NIS 400 million.

Automotive Equipment is owned by the Neta (formerly Boxenbaum) family and the Boxenbaum-Neta Charity Foundation. The company imports and sells Porsche, Suzuki, Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles and spare parts. It will have a turnover of NIS 1.7 billion in 2011, not including the MAN business.

It will continue to operate all MAN service garages and keep all of the seller’s employees.

The Antitrust Authority has to approve the acquisition and the Transportation Ministry will have to transfer the MAN import license to Automotive Equipment.

Automotive Equipment’s rivals in Israel are Mayer Cars and Trucks Ltd., which imports Volvo trucks, and Colmobil Ltd., which imports Mercedes trucks.


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