18 October 2018 - 9 Heshvan 5779 - ט' חשון ה' אלפים תשע"ט
South Korean car manufacturers tighten grip on Israeli market E-mail

According to sources in Israel, 20,000 of the record 70,500 new cars sold in Israel in January and February 2017 were Hyundai and Kia models. Deliveries of these two brands have been, to a considerable extent, the result of a massive wave of deliveries of the two new hybrid models, the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kia Niro.

It is obviously impossible to analyze sales trends based on only two months of data, but there is no doubt that this trend is exceptional on an international scale, and is likely to gain momentum. Evidence of this can been seen in the South Korean news agencies, which recently gave headline coverage to the sales figures for the Israeli market in 2016. The Yonhap news agency, for example, stated: “The leading automakers in South Korea, Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors, controlled the Israeli car market in 2016, leaving Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers far behind.”

The citing of a victory over the Japanese manufacturers, rather than the European manufacturers, is no accident. The South Koreans have a major grudge against the Japanese, and beating them in the global auto market is a matter of national pride. “Hyundai conquered 13.6% of the Israel car market last year, and Kia’s market share was 13.3%. Israel has become one of the three largest auto markets in the Middle East, after growing 12.5%,” the report said.

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