Sales of new cars in the Israeli car market had grown 30.5% in the first 9 months of 2000 to 123,313, according to official registration statistics provided by the Association of Cars Importers; 101,366 cars were private cars (up 35.8%) and 21,947 vehicles were light commercial (up 10.8%).

Mazda continued to dominate the market with a total of 17,812 vehicles, Hyundai second with a total of 10,171 and Volkswagen went up to 3rd place with 9629 vehicles.

In that period, the European vehicle manufacturers had 45.7% market share (compared to 40.5% for the same period in 1999), Japanese cars had 32.0% market share (down from 40.0% last year), South Korean cars were 15.3% (last year 13.8%) and cars from North America were 3.1% (3.1% last year).

But for the time being it seems as the Israeli car market is going to suffer quite heavily from the on going clashes in the West Bank and Gaza strip between the Palestinians and the IDF.

According to a few sales managers there in October there is a drop of some 20% in new cars purchase by private owners, while fleets are still not affected by the situation. But October was also the Holiday period in Israel, so everyone will wait to the end of the month to read the numbers.