Better Place joins car importers club

Industry source: Better Place's joining the association is like a Trojan Horse.

Electric car venture Better Place LLC officially became a member of the Motor Vehicles Importers Association yesterday. After receiving an import license from the Ministry of Transport a few weeks ago, the company applied to join the association, even though it will only begin regular imports of cars in the second half of 2011.

The Motor Vehicles Importers Association officially welcomed Better Place's accession.

A vehicle industry source told "Globes" off the record, "Better Place's joining the association is like a Trojan Horse. Membership in the association will allow Better Place to obtain early information and prevent measures by regular car importers to foil or delay the deployment of electric cars in Israel, as well as facilitate the venture with the regulators."

The Motor Vehicles Importers Association comprises Israel's regular motor vehicle import agencies, and is considered a very influential lobby at several ministries.

At a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conference in September, Better Place CEO Shai Agassi accused Israel's car importers for conspiring against his electric car venture. "40% of announcements in the financial columns of the newspapers are published by motor vehicle importers. We're threatening a large part of their business."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 1, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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