Car population passes the 20 million milestone
Korea has become the 15th country in the world with more than 20 million registered cars.
A report released Tuesday by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport showed a total of 20,002,967 cars registered as of Oct. 30. The government started collecting car registration data in 1945, when only 7,386 cars were registered.
Korea is the fourth Asian country to reach the 20 million mark after Japan (1972), China (2002) and India (2009).
The report said there was one car for every 2,127.1 Koreans in 1946, compared to one for every 2.56 today. By comparison, ratios in the United States and Japan are less than two cars for every person. Korea’s population was 51.3 million as of Oct. 30.
The report said the biggest acceleration occurred from 1980 to 2000. There were 500,000 cars in 1980, one million in 1985, five million in 1992 and 10 million in 1997.
From 2000-10, more than 5.9 million cars were newly registered.
Out of more than 20 million registered vehicles, 78 percent, or 15.64 million units, were passenger cars - including sedans and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) - and 93.4 percent, or 14.6 million, were domestic brands.
Nearly half of the country’s registered cars - 47.9 percent - were made by Hyundai Motor, followed by Kia Motors (27.7 percent), GM Korea (11.6 percent), Renault Samsung (9.4 percent) and Ssangyong Motor (4.1 percent). The most popular car was Hyundai’s Sonata, with 1.64 million units registered, followed by the Avante (1.42 million), Grandeur (1.07 million) and Renault Samsung’s SM5 (851,006).
The most popular import was BMW with 16.3 percent of the foreign car market, followed by Mercedes-Benz with 16.3 percent and Volkswagen with 11.2 percent.
A total of 952,651 vans were registered, and 99.48 percent of them were domestic brands, led by Hyundai with 49.85 percent of the market and Kia with 31.84 percent.
In terms of fuel types, about 9.6 million vehicles use gasoline, while about 7.8 million use diesel and 2.4 million use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
BY KWON SANG-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]