a different side of Israel

Do We Really Need These Cars?

Recent TV and other advertisements portraying 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 is going through now. Although luxury cars are nothing new to Israel, where cars like BMW and Mercedes Benz have been around for years, why would automobile importers want to try to introduce another high-line brand of car here, when the emphasis should be on downsizing to smaller, more economical and eco-friendly vehicles?

Toyota and Nissan’s top of the line Lexus and Infiniti models have been cruising around most major Western countries for years, but were not being marketed in Israel, until recently when Toyota’s Lexus line finally began to be imported into the country under its own brand name. Now Nissan, Japan’s number two or three automobile manufacturer (depending on how they finish in competition with Honda each year) is bringing in its luxury version to satisfy the vanity of those wealthy Israelis who want to be the first in their apartment block or “Cottage” neighborhood to own one.

Photo by

Photo by

Nissan’s Israel representative, Carasso Auto Distributers Ltd, under their subsidiary, Pacific Auto Importers Ltd, are currently importing the Infiniti G37 and EX 37 line of “midrange” Infiniti models which also include a super revved up EX Sports SUV. Prices of these “glitz-mobiles” are sure to be through the roof when all the customs duties and purchase taxes are added on, including VAT. After all, luxury cars with engines over 2,000 CC are penalized with much higher duties than lower priced and more economical vehicles with smaller engines. For example, if a standard Infiniti G37 Saloon with a 3.7 Litre V-6 engine sells for 42,500 Euro (US 54,500) in European Union markets, then the price here in Israel will surely be in excess of N.S. 380,000, or US $95,000 at current exchange rates.

So taking all of this into account, and in light of the current economic calamity Israel is involved in, with increasing mass layoffs of workers in even prestigious high tech industries; and with the results of global warming causing a water shortage crises almost unparalleled in the history of Israel, just why do we need another super luxury car to add to the already clogged motorways of this country? Unless some of these cars are hybrids (combination gasoline and electric motor driven vehicles), and then only well-to-do people will be able to purchase them; all these new luxury models will do will be to add more exhaust emission pollution to an already over-polluted environment, especially in Israel’s major cities.

Looking back a bit nostalgically into America’s worst economic historical era, the Great Depression, some of the auto industry’s most sporty and luxurious models were produced and marketed during this ten year period when a small segment of Americans were among the privileged elite while millions of their countrymen were standing in soup kitchen lines and living in “Hooverville” shanty towns. Models such as the Duisenberg, Studebaker and Packard, Mercedes Benz Excalibur, and a host of other long gone automobile greats plied America’s motorways and stood outside the luxurious houses of popular Hollywood movie stars.

Be that as it may, it does seem that in these troubled times, we can do without another line of luxury cars being sold and driven in this country.


  1. Philip M. Keller

    February 4, 2009 at 8:48 am

    America doesn’t have a credit problem, it has a debt problem. Those little pieces of plastic people carry around are NOT credit cards, they are DEBT cards. The entire economy of the United States, federal, state, local, corporate and personal is ALL based on debt that will never–can never–be repaid. Too bad the rest of the world’s financial structure is tied into this galactic Ponzi scheme, because when the multi-trillion dollar bailouts are proven to be vapor, we will all get a taste of reality together. Rest assured, the United States is played out. I live there. I see it up close every day. Peace be to Israel. Bod Bless.

  2. You guys are not alone, Phil. Israelis discovered those “debt cards”
    you refer to long ago. And believe me, the results are also mindboggling.
    Virtually everything here, including municpality payments, groceries,
    and all kinds of other stuff can be paid this way and the end result
    is the same as what is happening in America now.

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