year 2000 may have been a difficult one for Israel in some respects, but the new
vehicle market posted a record, according to Ya’acov Zalel of Autonews.co.il.
The Israeli vehicle market ended 2000 on a high note with deliveries of 16,270
private and commercial vehicles during December 2000, up 14.5% on December 1999.
Deliveries during 2000 were a record 178,035 units, up 36,863 units or 26.11%.
Usually the delivery data is higher than the registrations data annually by around
10,000 units. About 80% of the vehicles are private cars and the remainder commercial
According to unofficial statistics about 45% of the vehicles are being sold
to fleets and during 2000 there was huge growth in the leasing sector: it is
estimated to have bought and financed some 25,000 units over the year.
In terms of the outlook, there are renewed rumours concerning the possibility
of reforms to car tax that would reduce tax on cars in Israel by some 20%. The
current taxation is 95% for private cars + 17% VAT. The possibility of such
a reduction worries the auto trade because of fears that it will lead to a drastic
fall in the value of used cars. Although most of the leasing companies say that
they are covered and everything was calculated, the general feeling is that
in the very competitive market, few participants have covered themselves adequately
against this risk.
According to a survey of car dealerships by AutoNews.co.il, the average sales
forecast for 2001 is for a decrease of 5.5% in new vehicle registrations.