Chinese shake up Israel's new car market

New cars in Israeli port credit: Shutterstock
New cars in Israeli port credit: Shutterstock

The shift to electric vehicles has brought many new Chinese car brands to Israel this year.

256,700 new cars were delivered in Israel in the first 11 months of 2022, down 9.8% from the corresponding period of 2021, and close to the average over the past decade.

But overall numbers aside the past year has seen remarkable changes in the car market as the emphasis shifts from gasoline and diesel fueled cars to electric vehicles. Nearly 10% of new cars sold in 2022 are electric vehicles compared with 1% three years ago and about 35% of the new cars sold in November were electric vehicles. This percentage could rise further in December as buyers rush to bring in an electric vehicle before purchase tax rises from 10% to 20% in January.

The shift to electric cars has also shaken up the mix of brands being sold in Israel with Chinese companies moving strongly into the local market. In the first 11 months of 2022, 24,000 electric vehicles were sold in Israel including 6,000 in November alone and 64% of the electric vehicles sold in Israel this year were made in China. This figure includes Western brands that are manufactured in China such as Tesla and Polestar (Volvo) although the Chinese see them as exports to the west.

Chinese carmaker Geely leads the way in overall 2022 EV car sales in Israel. Geely has sold 5,700 of its Geometry C EVs and has a 25% market share. In second place in Tesla, which has sold 4,000 Model 3 EVs, giving it a 17.5% market share. In third place is Chinese company BYD, which has sold 1,860 of its ATTO 3 EVs, despite only launching in Israel two months ago.

Overall eight new Chinese models have arrived in Israel in 2022 and this is just the start. At least another two brands - Dongfeng's Voyah and Great Wall's Wey will be launched in Israel before the end of the year. In 2023, we can expect to see at least another five new models including Great Wall's Ora, aggressively priced for the mass market and Hozon's Neta also for the mass market and perhaps also for the premium market. Geely's Smart will be directed at the compact-premium market and Geely's Zeekr will target the ultra-premium market as well as Diongfeng's Seres.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on December 5, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

New cars in Israeli port credit: Shutterstock
New cars in Israeli port credit: Shutterstock
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