Initial sales figures that have reached "Globes" indicate that more than 40,000 new private vehicles joined the traffic on Israel's roads in January. This is a little less than in January 2017, when 45,000 new vehicles were sold, but still a higher figure than expected.
January is traditionally a high sales month for cars, with buyers putting off purchases in November and December. Industry sources estimate that, on the basis of the current orders backlog, new vehicle deliveries in January and February will total more than 70,000.
The sources say that the continuing strong sales of private vehicles mean that the public is voting with its feet and its wallet against public transport in Israel, and that public transport reforms carried out so far have not achieved their goals.
"Because of a lack of a long-term perspective and incorrect allocation of budgets, the government has lost control of road congestion, which in certain areas and at certain times is approaching total transport breakdown," the sources say. "It is doubtful whether Israel's roads, particularly in the Dan region around Tel Aviv, will stand up to another year in which the number of vehicles on them rises at a net rate of 10,000."
Although the Bank of Israel took steps last year to try to cool down the market for credit for buying vehicles, sources in the industry say that financing is still being used on a very large scale.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 1, 2018
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