Business in Brief: January 5

2010 was a record year for vehicle sales in Israel with 216,430 vehicles sold representing an increase of 25.3 percent from 2009.

cars 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
cars 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Vehicle sales break record in 2010
Last year was a record year for vehicle sales in Israel with 216,430 vehicles sold, including taxis, representing an increase of 25.3 percent from 2009, according to the Vehicle Importers Association, which based its data on the number of licenses issued.
In addition, 5,000 vehicles and taxis came onto Israel’s roads after being personally imported by their owners.
Of the new vehicles 181,526 were private cars, 25% more than in 2009. There were 16,440 of the road vehicles sold last year, 28% more than in 2009.
In December alone, 18,748 vehicles were sold in Israel, showing a rise of 8.3% up on the corresponding month of 2009.
Among the brands Mazda was the most popular car sold for the 15th consecutive year with 31,819 vehicles delivered, representing an increase of 1% from 2009. In second place was Hyundai with 30,453 vehicles, up 50% from 2009, and in third place was Toyota with 22,289 new vehicles sold, up 21% from 2009. Suzuki was fourth with 12,218 vehicles sold and Volkswagen was fifth with 11,514 vehicles delivered.
Delek Automotive Systems Ltd., which imports Mazda and Ford sold the most cars (42,082) with a 19.4% market share. In second place was Colmobil which imports Hyundai, Mitsibushi and Mercedes (38,885) with a 18% market share and in third place was Union Motors (22,759) followed by Champion Motors (16,031) in fourth place.
Kodak Israel fires 20 more workers
Kodak Israel Ltd. is believed to have fired 20 employees from its digital print division in the past few days, joining the 250 employees fired in the past two years.
Kodak Israel declined to comment on the move. The layoffs in Israel reflect the dismal condition of Eastman Kodak Co., which has been battered for years by the popularity of digital cameras. Only in the past few years did the camera and film manufacturer switch to the manufacture digital equipment, such as printers. The switch was too late to save the jobs of tens of thousands of employees over the past decade.
Kodak Israel’s main activity is the development of graphic communications and digital print solutions. The company was based on Kodak’s acquisition of Feature Vision for $90 million in 2000, followed by the acquisitions of Algotec Systems Ltd., Scitex Digital Printing Ltd., Realtime Image Inc., and Creo Israel Ltd.
Workers at Dead Sea slow production

Israel Chemicals Ltd. said Tuesday that the workers committee at the Dead Sea Works Ltd. plant are disrupting operations to the point of a complete halt in production, as part of a labor dispute, according to a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The employees are also disrupting maintenance operations, affecting the plant and other plants on its premises. Dead Sea Works’ management is in talks with the workers committee, and is taking measures to minimize damage and restore regular work. Management has petitioned the Labor Court for a temporary injunction to prevent the workers committee from taking action that could harm or disrupt work at the plants.