Attention being given by TV and other advertising media regarding a new line of luxury sport vehicles being introduced into Israel makes one wonder if people are really aware of the economic and environmental crises that both Israel and the world are presently in. Luxury cars are nothing new to Israel; and cars like BMW, Mercedes Benz, and even Jaguar have been around for years. But taking everything into account, why do automobile importers want to introduce another high-profile type of car here, when the emphasis should be on promoting smaller and more economical as well as environmentally friendly cars?
Toyota and Nissan’s top of the line LEXUS and INFINITI models have been sold in most major Western countries for years, but were not present in Israel, until recently when Toyota’s LEXUS line finally began to began to be imported into the country under its own brand name. Now Nissan, Japan’s number two automobile manufacturer is bringing in its luxury models to satisfy those wealthy Israelis who want to be the first in their neighborhood to own one.
Nissan’s Israel importer, Carasso Auto Distributors Ltd, and their subsidiary, Pacific Auto Importers Ltd, are currently importing the INFINITI G37 and EX 37 line of “midrange” models which also include a super revved up EX Sports SUV. Prices of these status symbols are sure to be very high when all the customs duties and purchase taxes are added on, including VAT. In Israel, luxury cars with engines over 2,000 CC are penalized with much higher taxes than lower priced more economical vehicles with small engines. As a comparison, a standard Infiniti G37 Saloon with a 3.7 Litre V-6 engine sells for 42,500 Euro or US$ 54,500 in European Union markets. The price in Israel for the same model is around N.S. 380,000, or US $95,000 at current Shekel-Dollar exchange rates.
These larger engine models consume more fuel, and in light of the current economic crises Israel is in, with more and more layoffs of workers in even prestigious high tech industries; and with the results of global warming causing one of the worst water shortages in the history of Israel, just why do we need another super luxury car to add to the already congested roads of this country? Although some INFINITI models are hybrids (combination gasoline and electric motor driven vehicles), only well-to-do people will be able to purchase them; canceling any significant benefits in our already over-polluted environment, especially in Tel Aviv and major Israeli cities. INFINITI hybrid models, including the M and QX hybrid, are very expensive, selling for at least 25% over regular, gasoline only models.
On a historical perspective during the world’s worst economic historical era or modern times, the Great Depression, some of the auto industry’s most sporty and luxurious models were produced and marketed during in America this ten year period when a small segment of Americans were among the privileged elite while millions of their fellow citizens were standing in bread lines and living in shanty towns. Models such as the Duisenberg, Studebaker-Packard, Mercedes Benz Excalibur, and of course the stately English Rolls Royce and Bentleys were seen touring the motorways and parked outside the luxurious houses of well known Hollywood movie stars.
Taking this fact with a grain of salt, it seems that in these turbulent times, we can well do without another type of luxury car being imported into our already over-saturated car market.
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