The number of vehicles registered in South Korea grew significantly from a year earlier last year with the number expected to top 20 million in early 2015, the government said Thursday.
As of the end of 2013, the number of registered vehicles came to 19,400,864, up 2.8 percent from 18,870,533 at the end of 2012, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
"Such a rise comes partly from an increase in sales of new cars on the release of new vehicle models and growing popularity of imported vehicles," it said in a press release.
It also marked the first time in three years that the number of vehicles in the country grew by over 500,000 units.
"The number is expected to breach the 20 million mark in the first half of 2015," the ministry said.
Of the total, 95.4 percent were locally produced vehicles. The number of imported vehicles came to 901,614, a 20.7 percent spike from a year earlier. Such a growth compares with a 2.1 percent on-year gain for locally produced cars.
The ministry had said that domestic sales of local automakers dropped 2.1 percent on-year in 2013 to 1,381,091 units.
By manufacturer, 75.8 percent of all registered vehicles were from the country's largest automaker, Hyundai Motor Co., and its affiliate, Kia Motors Corp.
Among imported vehicles, 53.3 percent were from one of four German carmakers: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Audi. (Yonhap News)