Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Mazda Loses Its Grip On Israel

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

In the last couple of weeks, we have travelled to France, Germany, Czech Republic and Oman. Today we fly North to land in Israel.

Now if you’re already Middle East-ed out after one week in Oman, that’s ok because I have prepared 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, so don’t be shy and click away!

For those of you who have been meticulously reading my articles week after week you will remember that we have already been in Israel back in August last year. Oh yes but at that time the only ‘data’ I had access to was from 2010 and it was very incomplete. Plus a lot of change has happened since, with Mazda not dominating anymore!

So jump into it after the jump…

Over the Full Year 2011, the Israeli new car market reached the record level of 225,949 registrations, up 5 percent year-on-year. Surprise surprise: Mazda is no longer the best-selling brand in the country with Hyundai taking a definitive advantage at 33,060 units and 14.6 percent share vs. 21,145 and 9.4 percent for Mazda…

But Mazda gets a consolation prize: for at least the 7th consecutive year, the Mazda3 is the best-selling model in Israel, with Australia the only other country in the world where it leads. However while in 2009 it commanded 12 percent of the market, this year it is down to 5.2 percent and 11,642 sales…

…only 221 units above the Toyota Corolla, #2 at 11,421 units and 5.1 percent share.

The Hyundai i30 rounds up the podium with 8,901 sales and 3.9 percent, the first of 6 Hyundais in the Top 25! Compact cars are definitely the favourite car size in Israel with the Chevrolet Cruze at #4 with 6,909 units and the Ford Focus at #5 with 6,286 sales.

The Hyundai i20 is the best-selling small car at #6 and 6,098 units, followed by the Mazda2 at #7 and the Suzuki Alto at #8. The Kia Rio and Renault Fluence close the Top 10.

Israel Full Year 2011 Top 30

PosModelUnits1Mazda311,6422Toyota Corolla11,4213Hyundai i308,9014Chevrolet Cruze6,9095Ford Focus6,2866Hyundai i206,0987Mazda25,9388Suzuki Alto4,8519Kia Rio4,69610Renault Fluence4,56311Hyundai i104,40812Skoda Octavia4,22313Seat Ibiza3,86014Kia Forte3,84715Hyundai i253,84116Mitsubishi Lancer3,75517Chevrolet Spark3,50218Nissan Juke3,34119Suzuki SX43,23620Hyundai i353,22521Honda Civic3,16722VW Jetta2,77123Hyundai ix352,65124Kia Picanto2,62525VW Polo2,49226Skoda Fabia2,49027VW Golf2,39528Nissan Micra2,24129Hyundai Accent2,22530Mazda52,025

Two US imports otherwise pretty discreet in the region rank within the Top 70: the Chevrolet Malibu at #55 and Buick LaCrosse (instead of the Opel Insignia) at You can check out the Israel Full Year 2011 Top 80 here

But wait there’s more: in January 2012, the Israeli market has gone into a spin…

And this is your mammoth-size golden nugget for the week… If you won’t shine in post dinners this week with that one, you’ll get your money back:

For the first month of the year, the Israeli car market is up 3 percent year-on-year at 20,194 registrations, and both brands and models ranking are totally upside down! Brand-wise, Kia takes the lead with 2,126 sales ahead of Ford (2,104) and 2011 leader Hyundai (2,019). Toyota and Skoda also sell more than Mazda, down 65 percent on January 2011 and the uncontested favourite brand in the country up until 2010…

In the models ranking, the Ford Focus flamboyantly takes the top spot with 1,719 sales and a mammoth 8.5 percent market share, compared to #5 and 2.8 percent in 2011.

It is followed by the Seat Ibiza at 1,034 units and 5.1 percent vs. 1.7 percent and #13 in 2011…

…and the Skoda Fabia with 711 sales and 3.5 percent (vs. 1.1 percent and The Toyota Corolla is down to #4 at 3.4 percent, ahead of the Kia Rio and Skoda Octavia.

Leader for at least the last 6 years, the Mazda3 is down to a worrying 7th place at 526 units and 2.6 percent share. Kia places 3 models in the Top 10 with the Forte at #8 and the Sportage at #9 while Hyundai lodges 5 cars in the Top 20: the i25 (aka Accent) is the i10 the i20 the i35 (aka Elantra) #17 and the i30 Notice also the Nissan Juke up to a brilliant 11th position and the Ford Edge up to

Israel January 2012

PosModelJan-12%1Ford Focus1,7198.5%2Seat Ibiza1,0345.1%3Skoda Fabia7113.5%4Toyota Corolla6913.4%5Kia Rio5352.6%6Skoda Octavia5322.6%7Mazda35262.6%8Kia Forte4502.2%9Kia Sportage4412.2%10Renault Fluence4022.0%11Nissan Juke4002.0%12Suzuki SX43952.0%13Kia Picanto3931.9%14Hyundai i253891.9%15Hyundai i103301.6%16Hyundai i203251.6%17Hyundai i353181.6%18Mazda23101.5%19Hyundai i302921.4%20Chevrolet Cruze2881.4%

You can check out the Israel January 2012 Top 55 here

And now you’re even more of an expert on Israel car sales than you were last August!

Till next week…

Data sourced from

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

Matt Gasnier
Matt Gasnier

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4 of 7 comments
  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Feb 07, 2012

    Worse. About equal to Austria. Not as bad as Norway. Then again, I'm sure that the Israelis don't want to fund the nearby military regimes or the Russian mafia.

    • Derek Kreindler Derek Kreindler on Feb 07, 2012

      Yeah, their options are basically limited to Nigeria for oil. Hence the creation of Better Place. Apparently they have lots of offshore oil and gas.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 07, 2012

    Given the small car preference, I'm surprised at the absence of Fiat in any models/numbers. Is there something political going on?

    • Garak Garak on Feb 09, 2012

      They probably just know that Fiats are terrible.

  • Slavuta So, Trump was hyperbolic... big deal.
  • Slavuta The question was, "does it make sense for Elon...?" I don't know why people jumped into conclusions in this comment section. My answer is this - if he does it, it makes sense to him. He knows better than any of us here. May be with his donations he can become an ambassador to an important state or secretary of energy, or chief of NASA. This is how America works. Donate $1m - ambassador to Poland, $3m - japan, $5M - Germany, etc. $20,000 could buy you Kenya or something
  • CanadaCraig We should be able to give comments a 'dislike' or 'thumbs down'. We're not 6 years old. I'm sure we cope if someone doesn't 'like' our comment.
  • Dartdude He knows that a Trump economy is a great opportunity to sell more cars (EV,ICE). Compare both terms and Trumps is the winner by a long shot.
  • Michael S6 Somewhat shocking that Tesla has maintained its sky high stock valuation. The faithful continue to have unshakeable faith in Musk. Tesla models are in dire need of redesign to be competitive although the model 3 recently got a refresh. I test drove a model S six months ago and it's was very nice driving car. However, the interior was very underwhelming in quality of materials and design. There is absence of physical controls such as a turning stalk, and the rear seat was uncomfortable. Tesla would have been in much better shape if they redesigned its current models to face the competition, rather than spending so much money creating a Cybertruck.