4,149 IONIQ Hybrid units were sold in Israel during period, representing a 121 percent jump over the same period of last year
A view of Hyundai Motor’s 2018 IONIQ Hybrid. (Photos: Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor’s eco-friendly car IONIQ Hybrid has risen to a best-seller in Israel during the first three years of this year. It is the first time Hyundai Motor’s eco-friendly cars have become a bestseller in Korea and abroad.
Korean automobile industry sources said 4,149 IONIQ Hybrid units were sold in Israel during the period between January and March to rank top in sales, representing a 121 percent jump over the same period of last year. IONIQ Hybrid sales were followed by 3,754 Tucson units and 3,453 Sportage units of Kia Motors.
It is rare that eco-friendly cars, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs and hydrogen cars, like IONIQ Hybrid have been a bestseller abroad. The IONIQ Hybrid units sold in Israel during the first quarter of the year come closer to 4,322 units of the car sold in Korea during last year.
IONIQ Hybrid’s good performance in Israel is partly owed to the Israel’s government policy of promoting eco-friendly cars. The Israel government imposes a 83 percent tax on those who buy internal combustion cars, but only a 20 percent tax on hybrid cars. The policy makes hybrid cars more competitive.
The fact that Hyundai cars enjoy popularity in Israel has also played a part. Hyundai Motor sold 14,898 units during the first quarter of the year to rank 1st in Israel.
Kia Motors came 2nd with 11,832 units sold during the period. Israel has become the hottest spot to Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors. During the first three years of the year, 2,515 units of Kia Motors’ hybrid Niro were sold, but Toyota sold only 475 hybrid Prius units.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, which are enjoying high popularity in Israel, are trying to max out its future competiveness by expanding self-driving and advanced technologies.
Last December, Hyundai Motor Group announced a plan to open an open innovation center in charge of collaboration with Israeli venture companies. Last September, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, known as an “incubator of venture companies” in Israel, signed an MOU on the establishment of a global consortium with KAIST of Korea. Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Chung Ui-sun is responsible for collaboration with Mobilye, Israel’s homegrown self-driving company.
A view of 2018 Tucson produced by Hyundai Motor.