Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors top the Israeli car market

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Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors top the Israeli car market

Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors dominated the Israeli car market in 2016, beating Toyota Motor and other Japanese rivals, industry data showed Sunday.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top automaker, sold 39,086 units in Israel last year, becoming the top seller there for the first time in three years, according to the data by Israel’s auto industry association.

Hyundai’s smaller affiliate Kia Motors came in second with sales of 38,069 vehicles. In 2015, Kia was the best-selling brand in the Middle Eastern country, trailed by Hyundai.

Hyundai took up 13.6 percent of the Israeli car market last year, with Kia’s share standing at 13.3 percent.

Toyota came next with 30,040 cars, followed by Skoda with 19,511 and Mitsubishi with 17,988.

Israel has emerged as one of the three biggest auto markets in the Middle East. The market expanded 12.5 percent in 2016, compared with 6.2 percent in 2015 and 12.8 percent in 2014.

Kia’s Sportage SUV became the best-selling model among foreign cars in Israel last year with shipments of 14,072 units, up 29 percent from the previous year.

Industry watchers attributed Hyundai and Kia’s strong sales to their efforts to attract Israeli motorists favoring small cars, as well as Israel’s tax breaks for hybrid cars. Yonhap
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