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Israelis to bid for Subaru Romania franchise

Fiat importer Michael Levy, and Shlomo Shmeltzer’s Shlomo Sixt will bid for the import franchise.

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Several Israelis are expected to bid for the Subaru import franchise in Romania. Bidders include Fiat importer, Mediterranean Car Agency Ltd., owned by Michael Levy, which recently obtained the Subaru import franchise, and S. Shlomo Holdings Ltd. (TASE:SHLD), controlled by Shlomo Shmeltzer.
Mediterranean Car Agency also owns the Fiat and other franchises in Romania. Shlmo Sixt has the Israeli franchises for several carmakers, including Opel, Suzuki, and China’s Chery. It once held the franchise for South Korea’s Ssangyong. The company recently restructured its Romanian operations.
Subaru is a weak brand in Romania, selling only a few score cars a month, but it is believed to have potential if and when the country’s car market recovers. Romania’s car market is in crisis, with fewer than 50, 000 sales projected in 2013. The rate of sales is a quarter of the rate in Israel, despite having three times the population. The Romanian government has launched a cash-for-clunkers program to get old cars off the road. The program is expected to stimulate the market in 2014, covering 15% of the country’s cars.
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