In 2009, 172,715 new vehicles were imported to Israel worth approximately US$2 billion. Of the 2.5 million cars on Israeli road, 3.7% are U.S. made, 45.9% Europe made and 50.4% Asian (Japanese 39.1% and South Korean 11.3%). The five top brands are Mazda, Hyundai, Toyota, Chevrolet (Korean made), Ford (EU made). In 2009, total imports of aftermarket products amounted to $325 million, of which $22 million was from the U.S. and the bulk of the balance from Germany ($49 million), Japan ($35 million) and Asia ($42 million). The automotive aftermarket sector in Israel consists of OEM parts and their substitutes. In Israel there are presently between 600–700 importers of aftermarket products and around 20 local manufacturers of aftermarket parts and accessories.
American spare parts are recognized for their high quality. In recent years Israel has progressively adopted European standards for vehicles as the bulk of cars are from Europe and Asia. Taxes in Israel are among the highest in the world, which industry sources blame for preventing the car market reaching full potential. Discounting taxes, car prices in Israel were among the lowest in the world, up to 40% less than in Europe.
In 2010, the Ministry of Transport & Safety will introduce new legislation, allowing the parallel import of vehicles by either individuals or newly appointed distributors who must meet stringent requirements. Personal car imports account for only 2% of all car imports, but nearly 25% of luxury car imports (mostly from the U.S.) costing more than NIS 200,000 (USD$54K). Moreover, Japanese and European models, which are made in the USA according to American standards, will now be allowed into the country.
• Car security and anti-theft devices: anti-theft electronic systems, locking devices, • Car body: bumpers, radiator grills, hood and trunk lids, wings, front and rear lamps (i.e. the parts most vulnerable in car accidents). • Service parts: disc brake pads, shock absorbers, front suspension parts, filters for oil and lubrication, air conditioning parts, • Replacement service parts: tires, fan belts, water hoses, water pumps, brake components, engine and transmission components, electrical components, undercarriage items that need replacing at the end of the warranty period. • Vehicle accessories: car care products, polish, wax, upholstery spray • Water-coolants (Glycol) for radiators • Electronic accessories: TV screens for rear seats, GPS & sound systems, etc. • Universal lubricants: well-known brand names of high-grade oils, lubricating, glycol, wax. The market demands well-known brand names.
Israeli importers are always on the lookout for quality products at competitive prices – usually in that order.