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S. Korea's registered cars jump in 2010

The number of registered cars in South Korea jumped last year as consumers purchased more vehicles amid recovering economic conditions, the transportation ministry said Thursday.

The number of registered cars reached 17.94 million at the end of last year, up 616,000 from a year earlier, according to the ministry. The increase was the second largest following a jump of 637,000 in 2003.

The ministry attributed the growth to improving consumer sentiment bolstered by economic recovery and aggressive marketing efforts by automakers.

Experts expect the number of registered vehicles to exceed 18 million next month if the current growth rate continues.

Of the total, 16.6 percent and 23.4 percent are registered in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi Province, respectively, the ministry said. Imported vehicles totaled 518,000, making up 2.9 percent of the registered cars, the ministry said. (Yonhap News)

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